A comparison of two screening instruments in detecting psychiatric morbidity in a Nigerian pediatric primary care service: assessing clinical suitability and applicability

Ann Afr Med. 2012 Oct-Dec;11(4):203-11. doi: 10.4103/1596-3519.102849.


Background: To improve poor attendance and underutilization of the child and adolescent psychiatric service in the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Ilorin, Nigeria, we compared a child behavior questionnaire (CBQ) with reporting questionnaire for children (RQC) for use in our primary care unit where the bulk of referrals come from to determine which is more applicable.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional two-stage study on the prevalence and pattern of psychiatric disorders in children attending the primary care unit of University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, over a 6-month period. CBQ and RQC were completed by the mothers of 350 children aged 7-14 years in the first stage; in the second, a stratified subsample of 157 children based on scores on CBQ were interviewed using the children's version of the schedule for affective disorders and schizophrenia (Kiddie-SADS-PL). The receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analysis was carried out to determine the screening properties of CBQ and RQC.

Results: The optimal cutoff score for CBQ and RQC were 7 and 1, respectively. Sensitivity, specificity, and misclassification rates at the cutoff for CBQ was 0.8 (80%); 0 96 (96%); 0.083 (8.3%), and RQC was 0.90 (90%); 0.78 (78%); 0.19 (19%). The discriminating ability of CBQ indicated by the area under the curve (AUC) in the ROC was 0.93 while RQC was 0.88.

Conclusion: Even with the evident marginal superior discriminating ability of CBQ in our study in primary care, RQC has the advantage of brevity and ease of application for workers at this level. In the child and adolescent clinic CBQ may still be preferred.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Female
  • Hospitals, Teaching
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Morbidity
  • Nigeria / epidemiology
  • Pediatrics
  • Prevalence
  • Primary Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Surveys and Questionnaires