The Health of the Nation Outcome Scale for Children and Adolescents (HoNOSCA) is an established outcome measure for child and adolescent mental health. Little is known of adolescent views on outcome.
To develop and test the properties of an adolescent, self-rated version of the scale (HoNOSCA–SR) against the established clinician-rated version.
A comparison was made of 6-weekly clinician-rated and self-rated assessments of adolescents attending two services, using HoNOSCA and other mental health measures.
Adolescents found HoNOSCA–SR acceptable and easy to rate. They rated fewer difficulties than the clinicians and these difficulties were felt to improve less during treatment, although this varied with diagnosis and length of treatment. Although HoNOSCA–SR showed satisfactory reliability and validity, agreement between clinicians and users in individual cases was poor.
Routine outcome measurement can include adolescent self-rating with modest additional resources. The discrepancy between staff and adolescent views requires further evaluation.