226989 Screening for psychiatric risk in a general population of children ages 4-11: Findings from the California Health Interview Survey

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Sue Holtby, MPH , Public Health Institute, Santa Cruz, CA
Y. Jenny Chia, PhD , Center for Health Policy Research, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Elaine Zahnd, PhD , Public Health Institute, Oakland, CA
May Aydin, PhD , Center for Health Policy Research, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
The Strengths and Development Questionnaire (SDQ) is a screening tool used in the California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) to estimate the prevalence of likely psychiatric disorders in the population of children ages 4-11. The SDQ has been validated with clinical instruments and in surveillance research. The short SDQ (6 questions) can be used to assign three levels of mental health development: normal, bordeline and abnormal. SDQ data from over 5,000 CHIS interviews with parents of children ages 4-11 were analyzed by demographic characteristics and measures of health care access and utilization, to better understand factors associated wtih at-risk development in the population.

CHIS is a biennial randon-digit-dial survey that began in 2001. Each sample has approximately 45,000 households. SDQ scores from CHIS 2007 data show that 90.7% of children ages 4-11 had normal development, 4.4% were borderline and 4.9% were abnormal. Males were significantly more likely than females to score in the abnormal category (6.2% vs. 3.6%), as were children in single parent households (8.4% vs. 3.9%). A higher proportion of children in households below 200% of the federal poverty level (FPL)scored in the abnormal category compared with children in households above 300% of FPL--6.8% vs. 3.3%. There were no racial/ethnic differences. Children in the abnormal category were more likely to have had an ER visit in the past 12 months, and to have delayed or not received prescriptions or other needed medical care, compared with children in the normal category.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) and how it can be used in a general population survey. 2. Describe some of the factors associated with SDQ scores that indicate possible developmental disorder among children. 3. Become familiar with the California Health Interview Survey as an ongoing source of public use data on a wide range of public health indicators.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have an MPH and have been a public health researcher for 27 years. I have worked on the California Health Interview Survey for the past 10 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.