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Question use in child mental health assessments and the challenges of listening to families

  • Michelle O'Reilly (a1), Khalid Karim (a1) and Nikki Kiyimba (a2)
Abstract
Background

The mental health assessment is a fundamental aspect of clinical practice and central to this is the use of questions.

Aims

To investigate the frequency and type of questions utilised within a child mental health assessment.

Method

The data consisted of 28 naturally occurring assessments from a UK child and adolescent mental health service. Data were analysed using quantitative and qualitative content analysis to determine frequencies and question type.

Results

Results indicated a total of 9086 questions in 41 h across the 28 clinical encounters. This equated to a mean of 3.7 questions per minute. Four types of questions were identified; yes–no interrogatives, wh-prefaced questions, declarative questions and tag questions.

Conclusions

The current format of questioning may impede the opportunity for families to fully express their particular concerns and this has implications for service delivery and training.

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Copyright
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Non-Commercial, No Derivatives (CC BY-NC-ND) licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Corresponding author
Michelle O'Reilly, The Greenwood Institute of Child Health, Department of Social and Political Science, University of Leicester, Westcotes Drive, Leicester LE3 OQU. Email: Mjo14@le.ac.uk
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

None.

Footnotes
References
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Question use in child mental health assessments and the challenges of listening to families

  • Michelle O'Reilly (a1), Khalid Karim (a1) and Nikki Kiyimba (a2)
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