Making the correct diagnosis in pediatric attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is especially important today. The Vanderbilt Rating Scales follow closely the criteria set forth in DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual – IV) and have been customized to observations made in the home and classroom environments.
When the forms are returned to the mental health professional, the scoring allows the clinician not only to make a diagnosis of ADHD, if present, but also to categorize the problem into one of its various subtypes: inattentive, hyperactive/impulsive, or combined. The Vanderbilt Scales also look for symptoms of frequent comorbidities, such as oppositional defiance, conduct disorder, anxiety, and depression.
The Vanderbilt scales were developed by Mark L. Wolraich, MD and colleagues. Dr. Wolraich is currently the Shaun Walters Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center in Oklahoma City.
POINT OF CARE
These scales are easily used online and via mobile devices for assessment at the point of care. Score, share and record results.
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A large number of psychiatric tests, scales, and forms have been created over the years to help in diagnosing mental illness and assisting in treatment and follow-up. We've put many of the clinical scales online here, hoping healthcare professionals—whether in specialty practices, primary-care settings, or emergency services—will find this format convenient. Since most of the tools are designed for repeated use over time, they will provide not only a longitudinal view but also document the medical record.
In addition to the psychiatric clinical scales themselves, you will find instructions on how to administer and score the scales.
These scales have demonstrated high levels of accuracy and validity and the results can give important clues to possible mental disorders that warrant follow up. However, please remember that they depend on the skills of the clinicians administering them and the accuracy of the information provided by the patients.
Jay M. Pomerantz, MD Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry Harvard Medical School, Boston