Integrating primary care and mental health has been associated with improved patient outcomes, so mental health screening in pediatric clinics could lead to earlier diagnosis and improved outcomes for patients. The Hearst Foundations are supporting development of a pediatric screener tool using MindLogger. This tool will administer assessments to children or their parents, for children receiving a wellness checkup at their pediatric clinic, and alert their doctor if a child shows signs of a mental health disorder. We have built a prototype of the applet and will pilot it at the Richmond University Medical Center in Staten Island, New York.
The initial screening questionnaire assesses internalizing and externalizing symptoms, issues of attention and hyperactivity, depression and suicidal ideation, disordered eating behavior, and experiences of bullying. It also collects demographic information about the child and parent.
Children with a clinically-significant level of symptoms are prompted to complete additional questionnaires to collect more detailed information. We have piloted a similar questionnaire in several New York City-based pediatric settings and have found it to be an effective tool for identifying children at risk of a serious mental health disorder. The MindLogger platform will create a much more streamlined process and user-friendly experience, increasing the probability of adoption by more pediatric practices and clinics.