Data-Gathering Tools for "Real World" Clinical Settings: A Multisite Feasibility Study

Peter S. Jensen, Ruth Ann C. Irwin, Allan M. Josephson, Harry Davis, Stephen N. Xenakis, Linda Bloedau, Robert C Ness, Alex Mabe, Bernard Lee, John Traylor, Lance Clawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the mental health needs and optimal treatments for children and families in "real world" settings, data-gathering strategies are needed that can be easily implemented across a variety of clinical settings. To address this need, the authors developed and piloted a "clinician-friendly" questionnaire that includes demographic, psychosocial, medical, and family history variables, such as those routinely gathered in standard clinical evaluations. Method: Optical scanning technology was used to encode data from more than 1,900 children, including 1,458 consecutive referrals in four military child psychiatry clinics, 285 consecutive admissions to a civilian psychiatric state hospital, 71 pediatric patients, and a community sample of 113 children. Results: Despite geographic and logistic obstacles, clinical data were reliably obtained across multiple settings. Data analyses revealed meaningful differences across samples in subjects' presenting complaints, and a range of psychosocial, demographic, and background variables. Data were characterized by an apparently high degree of accuracy and completeness. Conclusions: Findings illustrate the importance and feasibility of standardized data-gathering approaches in routine clinical settings and clarify the hazards as well as the opportunities afforded by these research approaches. Such data-gathering tools appear to have significant merit and deserve further implementation and testing across a range of clinical and research settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-66
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1996


  • Assessment
  • Clinical database
  • Knowledge transfer
  • Patient registry
  • Research methods
  • Services research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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