Don’t say: Stand still, or I can’t measure you! Routine outcome measurement in child- and adolescent psychiatry
background In psychiatry rom is more difficult to use with children and adolescents than with other subject groups. In 2008 a Dutch consortium was set up to study the use of rom with children and adolescents (romckap).
aim To investigate specific problems relating to the use of rom in child psychiatry.
method We describe the specific problems involved and, when possible, we provide solutions.
results The subject group is heterogeneous as far as its problems and developmental stages are concerned. Normal mental development needs to be taken into account when assessments are made regarding the ways in which problems change and are treated: children don’t stand still. Children’s problems often arise in interactions with family members. Problems are assessed by various informants (child, parent, teacher), who are not always in agreement with each other. Child and adolescent psychiatric care operates within the wider context of child welfare and education.
conclusion These aspects do not detract from the value of romckap, but the realisation that the aspects exist can serve as a guideline for the development of more reliable and useful rom.