Behavioral health screening tool updates

EOHHS made the following changes to the list of approved behavioral health screening tools as a result of consultation with clinical experts.

  • Although the Achenbach System Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL), Youth Self-Report (YSR), and Adult Self-Report (ASR) were  originally included on the list because of their wide age range (they can be used with youth 18 to 21 years of age), they have now been removed from the list because they:
    • go beyond the scope of the tools on the menu by performing more than a behavioral health screen;
    • are lengthy and cumbersome to administer, requiring data to be entered into a computer system for subscale scores; an
    • are relatively expensive.
    • The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) has been added to the list because:
      • it is supported by the American Academy of Pediatrics;
      • it can be used for children and youth  3-16 years of age;
      • numerous publications support its validity as a mental health screening tool;
      • it has been translated into more than 65 languages; and
      • it is available free of charge.

      Please note: 

      • Guidance on how to use the SDQ will be added to the CBHI website and included in the screening toolkit in the near future. www.mass.gov/masshealth/childbehavioralhealth
      • EOHHS understands the challenges to primary care providers of using the currently available screening tools for infants under the age of 6 months.  However, at this time, no more appropriate tools for this age group are available. Because each behavioral health screen must be administered using a standardized screening tool, and because it is important to screen all children for behavioral health issues, EOHHS, in consultation with the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics and other experts, has decided to continue requiring that primary care providers use one of the standardized screening tools at each EPSDT visit.