Assessment of Patient Functioning in a Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Facility.Report as inadecuate

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This study investigated the effectiveness of the Child and Adolescent Functional Assessment Scale (CAFAS) for assessing the functioning of youth with mental disorders. The CAFAS is a multidimensional tool used to record the extent to which a youth's mental health disorder is disruptive of functioning in each of five psycho-social areas: role performance, thinking, behavior towards others, moods, and substance abuse. The CAFAS was used to collect admission data on 213 patients (ages 3-20) at a residential center and discharge scores for 102 patients. Initial results using the CAFAS were encouraging; patients typically had a total admission CAFAS score of over 80, indicating a need for intensive services. Patients admitted to the center were most likely to show disturbances in function for role performance, behavior toward others, or moods. Average scores showed a statistically significant change at discharge, indicating patients were improving their levels of functioning during treatment. A group of 28 patients with lengths-of-stay under 31 days also showed statistically significant changes in their scores after treatment, suggesting that the CAFAS can detect changes in levels of functioning independent of length-of-stay. (CR)

Descriptors: Adolescents, Children, Evaluation Methods, Measures (Individuals), Mental Disorders, Mental Health Programs, Psychiatric Services, Residential Programs, Student Evaluation, Test Validity

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Author: Jacobson, Carol Valera; Meyer, Tracy


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