• Question use in child mental health assessments and the challenges of listening to families.

      O’Reilly, Michelle; Karim, Khalid; Kiyimba, Nikki; University of Chester; University of Leicester (The Royal College of Psychiatrists, 2015-10-07)
      Background: The mental health assessment is a fundamental aspect of clinical practice and central to this is the use of questions. Aims: To investigate the frequency and type of questions utilised within a child mental health assessment. Method: The data consisted of 28 naturally occurring assessments from a UK child and adolescent mental health service. Data were analysed using quantitative and qualitative content analysis to determine frequencies and question type. Results: Results indicated a total of 9086 questions in 41 h across the 28 clinical encounters. This equated to a mean of 3.7 questions per minute. Four types of questions were identified; yes–no interrogatives, wh-prefaced questions, declarative questions and tag questions. Conclusions: The current format of questioning may impede the opportunity for families to fully express their particular concerns and this has implications for service delivery and training.
    • Reflecting on what ‘you said’ as a way of reintroducing difficult topics in child mental health assessments

      Kiyimba, Nikki; O’Reilly, Michelle; University of Chester; University of Leicester (Wiley, 2017-03-25)
      Background In child and adolescent mental health assessments, questions are integral to the process. There has been limited research focused on the assessment process, or on how questions are constructed within this clinical environment. Methods We examined 28 naturally occurring initial assessments, with particular attention to how practitioners used questions in their communication with children and young people. We utilised conversation analysis to examine the data. Results Analysis revealed a particular type of question preface used to reintroduce a prior topic. This was achieved through the use of ‘you said x’ as a foundation for asking a follow-up question and demonstrated active listening. Conclusions Arguably, this approach is a useful way of gathering assessment-relevant information in a child-centred way.