Use of evidence-based assessments for childhood anxiety disorders within a regional medical system

Adam F. Sattler, Chelsea M. Ale, Kristin Nguyen, Melissa S. Gregg, Jennifer R. Geske, Stephen P.H. Whiteside

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Anxiety disorders represent a common and serious threat to mental health in children and adolescents. To effectively treat anxiety in children, clinicians must conduct accurate assessment of patients' symptoms. However, despite the importance of assessment in the treatment of childhood anxiety disorders, the literature lacks a thorough analysis of the practices used by clinicians' when evaluating such disorders in community settings. Thus, the current study examines the quality of assessment for childhood anxiety disorders in a large regional health system. The results suggest that clinicians often provide non-specific diagnoses, infrequently document symptoms according to diagnostic criteria, and rarely administer rating scales and structured diagnostic interviews. Relatedly, diagnostic agreement across practice settings was low. Finally, the quality of assessment differed according to the setting in which the assessment was conducted and the complexity of the patient's symptomatology. These results highlight the need to develop and disseminate clinically feasible evidence-based assessment practices that can be implemented within resource-constrained service settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)411-418
Number of pages8
JournalPsychological Services
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • Anxiety disorders
  • Child
  • Clinical practice
  • Evidenced-based assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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