Paediatric Index of Emotional Distress (PI-ED)

Author(s) : Suzy O'Connor, Terri Carney, Emma House, Eamonn Ferguson and Rory O'Connor

Publisher : GL Assessment, 2010


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Purpose: Screen children and young adults for anxiety and depression

Age: 8 - 16 years

Time: 5 - 10 minutes

Based on the Hospital Anxiety & Depression Scale (HADS), the Paediatric Index of Emotional Distress (PI-ED) is a valid and reliable self-rating scale that screens children and young people for emotional distress.

The PI-ED assesses psychological distress using one brief questionnaire, comprising 14 questions that are presented on one page. It asks children and young people about their symptoms of anxiety and depression. A concrete cut-off score then clearly identifies individuals most in need of further clinical assessment and intervention.

The PI-ED is the only measure of its kind designed for use with both children that have physical health problems (i.e. those in paediatric clinics and hospitals) and children in a normal population.

Key Features

  • The PI-ED facilitates the early identification of mental health problems and aids referral to appropriate services with clear cut-off scores to indicate increased risk of psychological distress
  • It is ideal for use as a screening measure, an index of clinical change and as an outcome measure
  • Quick and easy to administer, the PI-ED is briefer than comparable measures, easy to score and simple to interpret with clear cut off scores
  • Highly cost effective – as a single measure of emotional distress it removes the need for separate measures of anxiety and depression or different measures for different ages
Suzy O'Connor, Terri Carney, Emma House, Eamonn Ferguson and Rory O'Connor

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