Systematic review of self-report measures of general mental health and wellbeing in adolescent mental health

Natalie Bentley, Samantha Hartley, Sandra Bucci

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The assessment of general mental health and wellbeing is important within child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) for both clinicians and policy makers. Measurement tools are routinely relied upon to aid assessment and to monitor and evaluate treatment and service effectiveness. We conducted a systematic review using the COSMIN checklist to identify measures of general mental health and wellbeing for an adolescent mental health population. A systematic database search was performed using PsychINFO, MEDLINE, EMBASE, and CINAHL in accordance with PRISMA guidelines. Database searching produced 9587 records, with 27 papers meeting eligibility criteria and 16 measures identified and critically appraised. The Y-QOL-R and the Y-QOL.30.1 had the most robust psychometric properties. When considering the clinical utility of measures alongside psychometric properties of measures, the GHQ-12, ORS and YP CORE had the greatest clinical utility. The psychometric quality of measures reviewed overall, however, were generally poor in quality. Measuring outcomes in CAMHS and ensuring appropriate treatment pathways for young people is important. This review highlights the need for more robust testing of the psychometric properties of adolescent measures. When selecting measurement tools, clinicians should not only consider the purpose of the measure, (i.e., discriminative, predictive, and evaluative) and characteristics of the instrument (e.g., intended population, measure length), but should also the quality of the psychometric properties of the instrument.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-252
Number of pages28
JournalClinical child and family psychology review
Issue number2
Early online date7 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2019


  • Child and adolescent
  • Measures
  • Mental health
  • Review


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