Learning From Behavioral Health Screening Tools 11/9/2017

Patients, pediatric and adult commonly present to primary care offices with symptoms and concerns related to their mental health or substance use problems. Sometimes they come in with that as part of their chief complaint, but often a PCP will have a concern that a behavioral health issue is present, either based on the physical health presentation or upon the patient’s overall demeanor. In these situations, further inquiry can be quite helpful and use of a behavioral health screening tool can help determine the severity of the symptoms and the level of impairment as a guide to referral or treatment actions.

This said, it takes provider preparedness, organization and time to utilize these tools—resources that may be in short supply.

Today’s posting lists a variety of fully vetted screening tools. Some like the GASD-7 or the PHQ-9 (or PHQ-2 if you’re already stretched) are worth knowing almost by heart so that you can screen directly for depression and anxiety as a routine part of your clinical encounter.   Others are worth reviewing without memorizing to build upon your clinical scope in dealing with behavioral issues.

It is our hope that you will find the time to open the links to review these tools now and periodically in the future as a step toward advancing your clinical knowledge and skill even if you may not ever be likely to use them more formally in your practice for assessment or symptom monitoring.










Vanderbilt – available for parents and teachers






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