The Psychosocial Assessment Tool (PAT) is a brief parent report measure that helps pediatric healthcare teams recognize and respond to parents’ reports about their family and social context.
The PAT is based on the Pediatric Psychosocial Preventive Health Model (PPPMH) which identifies three levels of family psychosocial risk (Universal, Targeted, Clinical) and suggests matching intervention approaches. For example, many families will benefit from psychoeducation, and basic assistance. Some will benefit from more specific interventions that promote adjustment or adherence to treatment. Other families with more severe distress will need the assistance of a behavioral health specialist to foster their wellbeing in the pediatric healthcare environment.
The PAT was originally developed for families of children with cancer. PAT has now been adapted for several other diseases and into several other languages. PAT developer, Anne Kazak, PhD, who directs the Nemours Center for Healthcare Delivery Science and co-directs the Center for Pediatric Traumatic Stress, says of the screener, “We can quickly get a snapshot of what is going on with a family and treat or refer them to the help they need...while pediatric patients and their families can be remarkably resilient and are often brought closer together by a health crisis, almost every family experiences some level of stress and can benefit from support".