Using the 11-item Version of the RCADS to Identify Anxiety and Depressive Disorders in Adolescents.
Radez J., Waite P., Chorpita B., Creswell C., Orchard F., Percy R., Spence SH., Reardon T.
The purpose of this study was to identify items from the Revised Children's Anxiety and Depression Scale - RCADS-C/P that provided a brief, reliable and valid screen for anxiety and/or depressive disorders in adolescents. In addition, we examined whether adding items assessing suicidal ideation (Moods and Feelings Questionnaire - MFQ- C/P) and symptom impact and duration (items adapted from the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire - SDQ) improved the identification of adolescents with anxiety and/or depressive disorders. We compared two samples of adolescents and their parents - a community sample, recruited through secondary schools in England (n = 214) and a clinic-referred sample, who met diagnostic criteria for anxiety and/or depressive disorder and were recruited through a university-based research clinic (n = 246). Participants completed the RCADS-C/P with additional symptom impact and duration items, and the MFQ-C/P. Using ROC curve analyses, we identified a set of 11 RCADS-C/P items (6 addressing anxiety and 5 depression symptoms) for adolescent- and parent-report. This set of 11 symptom items achieved sensitivity/specificity values > .75, which were comparable to corresponding values for the RCADS-47-C/P. Combining adolescent and parent-report improved the identification of anxiety/depression in adolescents compared to using adolescent-report alone. Finally, adding two symptom impact items further improved the sensitivity/specificity of the 11 symptom items, whereas adding suicidal ideation items did not. The 11 RCADS items accurately discriminated between the community and clinic-referred sample with anxiety and/or depressive disorders and have the potential to quickly and accurately identify adolescents with these disorders in community settings.