Australian Family Physician
Australian Family Physician


Volume 39, Issue 8, August 2010

Refining and evaluating a youth friendly assessment interview

Alexandra Parker Rosemary Purcell Sarah Hetrick
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Given the high prevalence of mental health and/or substance use problems in young people, an assessment interview that assists clinicians to engage with young people and assess their psychosocial needs is essential. Currently, there are few assessment tools for this purpose.
To describe the rationale and process of extending a psychosocial assessment interview to assist clinicians in assessing the full range of mental health disorders common in young people.
The ‘headspace’ assessment interview is designed to assist engagement while assessing psychosocial and mental health problems. It can be used by a range of clinicians in primary care settings for the purposes of developing treatment or referral options. To date, as part of a national clinical service platform, the interview has been used with over 2000 young people. A preliminary process evaluation indicated that the interview is perceived to have utility and acceptability among the clinicians who are using it in their practice to assess young people’s mental health problems and psychosocial functioning.

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