• 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.
    • The use of why questions in child mental health assessments

      Kiyimba, Nikki; Karim, Khalid; O'Reilly, Michelle; University of Chester, University of Leicester (Equinox Publishing, 2017-12-18)
      Questions form the basis of mental health assessments and yet there is limited empirical evidence about the linguistic structure of question formats in these clinical environments. While many types of questions are used, the focus of this research was on why-prefaced questions with children. Interaction analysis was employed to interrogate the data, paying specific attention to the interactional organisation of how 'why-prefaced' questions were asked and responded to. Analysis demonstrated that when three core components were present in the question, then it was usual for a reason/explanation to be provided in response, and when one or more component was missing, it rarely elicited a reason or explanation in response. The three components were the sequential position of the question, how the question was indexically tied to the child’s prior statement, and the epistemic domain of the question. Implications for therapeutic communication and training were discussed.