Comparing psychiatric diagnoses generated by the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire with diagnoses made by clinicians

John Mathai, Peter Anderson, Angela Bourne

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89 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To examine the level of agreement between clinical diagnoses by a community child and adolescent mental health service (CAMHS) and diagnoses generated by the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Method: A computerized algorithm developed by Goodman et al. was used at a community CAMHS in Australia to predict child psychiatric diagnoses on the basis of the symptom and impact scores derived from the SDQ completed by parents (n = 130),teachers (n = 101) and young people (n = 38). These diagnoses were compared with the diagnoses made by clinicians in a multidisciplinary community outpatient team and an independent clinician that examined the case notes and was blind to the SDQ scores. Results: The level of agreement between SDQ generated diagnoses and clinical team diagnoses was moderate to high, ranging from 0.39 to 0.56. Correlations between the SDQ and an independent clinician ranged from 0.26 to 0.43. All were statistically significant. Conclusion: The SDQ is a useful instrument to aid clinicians in diagnosis and could be used as part of the initial assessment process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)639-643
Number of pages5
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Diagnosis
  • SDQ

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