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The development and testing of PSYCHLOPS Kids: A new child-centred outcome measure

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Emma Godfrey, Molly Aubrey, Susan Crockford, Deborah Haythorne, Maria Kordowicz, Mark Ashworth

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)54-65
JournalChild and Adolescent Mental Health
Issue number1
Early online date24 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019


King's Authors


Background: There are currently no client generated measures able to capture a child’s perspective of the value of generic therapeutic mental health interventions. We have developed a new measure called ‘PSYCHLOPS Kids’. It measures areas of individual importance to the respondent and contains both quantitative and qualitative elements. We aimed to pilot this new outcome measure and determine its psychometric properties.

Methods: PSYCHLOPS Kids was adapted from the adult PSYCHLOPS questionnaire, a validated and reliable client-generated measure used in primary care mental health. Development of PSYCHLOPS Kids involved an expert group, pilot testing with dramatherapists followed by psychometric testing with children receiving dramatherapy aged 7-13 years.

Results: 132 children completed pre- and post-intervention questionnaires. Mean initial PSYCHLOPS Kids scores (scale of 0-12) were 4.98 (SD 3.42); mean post-therapy, 3.24 (SD 3.03); mean effect size of change, 0.51. The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) was used as a comparator instrument completed by parent/carers of 32 children; mean effect size, 0.39. The effect size difference between both instruments was not significant (t = 1.05; P = 0.30); the PSYCHLOPS Kids Problem domain effect size (mean, 0.68) was significantly greater than for the SDQ (t = 2.06; P = 0.04). Concurrent validity was demonstrated by strong predictive power of change scores for the self-assessment of change item in PSYCHLOPS Kids; therapist-assessment of change was not a significant predictor of change scores. PSYCHLOPS Kids and SDQ change scores were not significantly correlated.

Conclusions: PSYCHLOPS Kids is the first client generated mental health outcome measure focussing on problems for generic use in children. It has demonstrated moderate responsiveness to change and satisfactory testing for measured aspects of validity and reliability. PSYCHLOPS Kids now requires further validity, reliability and qualitative testing.

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