Tools You Can Use: Assessment

After an initial screening, elevated levels of psychosocial risk may indicate the need for a more in-depth and specific assessment to be conducted by psychology, psychiatry, or other another clinical mental health provider.

The goal of the assessment process is to provide both the health care team and the psychosocial professionals involved with a clearer picture of the needs and strengths of children and families who require Targeted or Clinical* level interventions. Most importantly, the assessment process supports professionals in selecting and facilitating appropriate evidence-based interventions with ill or injured children and their families.

Assessments for pediatric medical traumatic stress may include assessment of other (frequently co-occurring) concerns or disorders which have implications for health outcomes. For example:

  • Trauma or stress-related difficulties (including Acute Stress Disorder / Posttraumatic Stress Disorder)
  • Anxiety (including Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
  • Mood difficulties (including Major Depressive Disorder)
  • Behavioral problems (including Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder)
  • Substance use problems

PPPHM Assessment

*Note: Typically screening will inform you (and other professionals) on next steps for low-risk families and more in-depth assessments and evaluations may not be necessary. If a child is targeted for assessment, but your assessment determines that a child/family is at Low Risk , Universal interventions are likely to meet their needs.

Find a trauma informed assessment for:

Assess my patient for traumatic stress from a recent (within past month) injury or illness:

Child Stress Disorders Checklist (CSDC)

Purpose & Description: 35 item checklist completed by parent (or nurse). Assesses acute stress or PTSD symptoms in children or teens.

Language: English

References: Saxe et al. (2003). Child Stress Disorders Checklist: A measure of ASD and PTSD in children. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 42(8): 972-978.

Child Stress Disorders Checklist (CSDC) Short Form

Purpose & Description: 4 item subset of CSDC to be completed by parent (or physician / nurse). Assesses acute stress of PTSD symptoms in children or teens.

Language: English

References: Bosquet, Kassam-Adams, & Saxe (2010). The Child Stress Disorders Checklist-Short Form: A four-item scale of traumatic stress symptoms in children. General Hospital Psychiatry, 32(3): 321-327.

Acute Stress Checklist for Children (ASC-Kids)

Purpose & Description: 29 item self-report checklist. Assesses acute stress reactions in children or teens.

Language: English, Spanish

References: Kassam-Adams, N. (2006). The Acute Stress Checklist for Children (ASC-Kids): Development of a child self-report measure. Journal of Traumatic Stress, 19: 129-139.

Acute Stress Disorder Scale (ASDS) - (Use with children and parents)

Purpose & Description: 19 item self-report checklist to assess acute stress reactions in older teens.

Language: English

References:Bryant, R., Moulds, M., & Guthrie, R. (2000). Acute Stress Disorder Scale: A self-report measure of Acute Stress Disorder.Psychological Assessment, 12(1), 61 - 68.

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Assess my patient for PTSD from a previous injury or illness

Child PTSD Symptom Scale (CPSS)

Purpose & Description: 24 item self-report checklist. Assesses PTSD symptoms (and impairment) in children or teens.

Language: English, Spanish, Russian, Armenian, Korean

References:Foa, E., Johnson, K., Feeny, N., & Treadwell, K. (2001). The Child PTSD Symptom Scale: A preliminary examination of its psychometric properties. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 30(3), 376-384.

PTSD Checklist (PCL) - (Use with teens and parents)

Purpose & Description: 20 item self-report checklist. Assesses PTSD symptoms in older teens and adults.

Language: English, Spanish

References: Weathers, F.W., Litz, B.T., Keane, T.M., Palmieri, P.A., Marx, B.P., & Schnurr, P.P. (2013). The PTSD Checklist for DSM-5 (PCL-5). Scale available from the National Center for PTSD at

Child Traumatic Stress Questionnaire (CTSQ)

Purpose & Description: 10 item screening tool completed by child or teen. Helps identify recently injured children at higher risk for later PTSD.

Language: English

References: Kenardy, Spence, & Macleod (2006). Screening for posttraumatic stress disorder in children after accidental injury.Pediatrics, 118: 1002-09.

Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Assess how my patient is coping with his/her injury or illness?

KidsCope

Purpose & Description: 10 to 15 item self-report checklist. Assesses child coping strategies.

Language: English, German, French, Chinese, Portuguese

References: Spirito A, Stark L, Williams C. (1988). Development of a brief coping checklist for use with pediatric populations. Journal of Pediatric Psychology,13:555-574.

Pretzlik U, Sylva K. (1999) Pediatric patients' distress and coping: a self-report measure. . Archives of Disease in Childhood,1999;81:525-527

Coping with Disease (CODI)

Purpose & Description: 29 item self-report checklist. Assesses child coping strategies.

Language: English, Dutch, German, Greek, Swedish

References: Petersen, C, Schmidt, S, Bullinger M, et al. (2004). Brief report: Development and pilot testing of a coping questionnaire for children and adolescents with chronic health conditions. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 29: 635-640

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How can I help this family support their child in the hospital?

Hospital Emotional Support Form

Purpose & Description:: Brief clinical assessment tool to aid parents in providing coping assistance to child

Language: English

References: N/A

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Does this family need extra emotional or psychosocial support?

Psychosocial Assessment Tool (PAT)

Purpose & Description: Comprehensive questionnaire assessing psychosocial risk in families of children newly diagnosed with cancer. Helps identify children and families who would benefit from targeted psychosocial intervention.

Language: English, Spanish

References: Pai, A., et al. (2008). The Psychosocial Assessment Tool (PAT2.0): Psychometric properties of a screener for psychosocial distress in families of children newly diagnosed with cancer. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 33, 50-62.

Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Assess pain in children

Faces Pain Scale- Revised

Purpose & Description:Well-validated self-report scale for children or teens. Assesses pain (disease-related, procedural, surgical/trauma, treatment-related).

Language: English, French, and 31 additional languages

References: Hicks CL, von Baeyer CL, Spafford P, van Korlaar I & Goodenough B. (2001) The Faces Pain Scale - Revised: Toward a common metric in pediatric pain measurement.Pain: 93:173-183.

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Assess basic patient / family needs around distress, emotional support, and family and develop a team-based care plan

D-E-F Protocol

Purpose & Description: Brief checklist completed by physician, nurse or social worker. Needs assessment and care planning with hospitalized children.

Language: English

References: N/A

Contact:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Assess medical traumatic stress and psychosocial risk in child welfare systems

Medical Trauma Assessment and Action Form for Child Welfare Professionals

Purpose & Description: Brief questionnaire assessing psychosocial risk and medical traumatic stress in families of children in the child welfare system.

Language: English

References: N/A

Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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