Assessment & Diagnosis

Screening for Common Mental Disorders

Screening tools for common mental disorders have been translated into multiple languages. (Please note that it has been specified for each tool whether it is open-access or whether there is a fee associated with the use of the assessment tool.) Screening for common mental disorders is usually only useful when there is an integrated treatment system that can respond to potential needs with careful clinical assessment and appropriate stepped care.

Screening Scales Available in Multiple Languages

The PHQ-9, a nine-item depression scale of the Patient Health Questionnaire, is a useful tool in screening for depression in primary care. [Kroenke, K. (2012). Enhancing the clinical utility of depression screening. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 184(3), 281-282.See PHQ-9 in multiple languages.

Kessler 10
The Kessler (K10) measure is a 10-item self-report questionnaire intended to yield a global measure of ‘psychological distress’ based on questions about the level of anxiety and depressive symptoms in the patient’s most recent 4-week period. This tool is available in 29 languages from the website. There is no cost associated with using this tool. This is an open-access document. [Kessler, R.C., Andrews, G., Colpe, et al (2002) Short screening scales to monitor population prevalences and trends in non-specific psychological distress. Psychological Medicine, 32, 959-956.]

This assessment tool was designed to assist general practitioners in the diagnosis of minor psychiatric disorders. It has two features which make it suitable for use cross-culturally. First, it covers a wide range of psychosomatic symptoms, which are a common expression of psychological distress in many cultural groups. Second, all questions are in simple everyday language and require “yes”/”no” answers. It yields diagnoses consistent with the DSM-IV psychiatric classification system. The questionnaire consists of two parts, a self-report patient questionnaire, and a series of interview models for mood disorder, anxiety disorder, psychosomatic disorder, alcohol abuse and eating disorder. This tool is available in four languages (English, Greek, Italian, and Vietnamese) from the website. There is no cost associated with using this tool. This is an open-access document. [Spitzer RL, Williams JB, Kroenke K, Linzer M, deGruy FV 3d, Hahn SR, et al. Utility of a new procedure for diagnosing mental disorders in primary care. The PRIME-MD 1000 study. JAMA 1994;272:1749-56.]

Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale in Multiple Languages
The 10-question Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) is an efficient way of identifying patients at risk for perinatal depression. Validated translations are available in multiple languages with a scoring manual, Using the Edinburgh Depression Scale,  produced by the Department of Health, Government of Western Australia.

Clinical Assessment Tools for Seniors

The Rowland Universal Dementia Assessment Scale (RUDAS)

The RUDAS is a is short cognitive screening instrument designed to minimise the effects of cultural learning and language diversity on the assessment of baseline cognitive performance.  The instrument is also available in Chinese and Italian. The organization offers an online  Training Video, as well as a Scoring Guide.

Clinical Assessment Tools for Children

This section provides access to a number of assessment tools for children, including the The Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment (ASEBA), the Pediatric Symptom Checklist, and the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ).

The Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment (ASEBA)
The ASEBA assesses competencies, adaptive functioning, and behavioral, emotional, and social problems from age 1½ to over 90 years (specifics of the assessment tools vary depending on the age of the patient). This instrument has been translated into over 85 languages and has been culturally validated in many different studies. This is not an open-access document, but can be purchased from the website for varying prices, depending on the exact instrument and whether it will be used for training purposes. Information about the reliability and validity of the instrument can be found here.

Pediatric Symptom Checklist
This is a brief screening questionnaire that is used by pediatricians and other health professionals to improve the recognition and treatment of psychosocial problems in children. In addition to the original 35-item parent report form of the PSC, there are now many other validated forms including a youth self report, a pictorial version, and a briefer 17-item version for both the parent and youth. In a number of validity studies, PSC case classifications agreed with case classifications on the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), Children’s Global Assessment Scale (CGAS) ratings of impairment, and the presence of psychiatric disorder in a variety of pediatric and subspecialty settings representing diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. This tool is available in over a dozen languages from the website. There is no cost associated with using this tool. This is an open-access document. [Jellinek, M., Evans, N., & Knight, R.B. (1979). Use of a behavior checklist on a pediatric inpatient unit. Journal of Pediatrics94(1): 156-8.]

Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ)
The SDQ is a brief behavioural screening questionnaire about 3-16-year-olds, available in multiple languages.It exists in several versions to meet the needs of researchers, clinicians and educationalists. Depending on the user, the SDQ can include somewhere between one and three of the following components: a 25-item questionnaire on psychological attributes, an impact supplement, and/or follow-up questions. The tool is available (not all three components are available in all languages) in over 60 languages from the website. There is no cost associated with using this tool. This is an open-access document.[Goodman R (1997) The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire: A Research Note. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 38, 581-586.]