Computer programs

The youthinmind online DAWBA interviews help clinicians and researchers to collect information and generate diagnoses. These programs are potentially available to established research teams in child and adolescent mental health, to established clinical teams in child and adolescent mental health, and to senior independent clinicians/practitioners in this area.

For more details of the youthinmind online interviews, including demonstrations of the data-entry and rating systems, click here.

1) Online interviews for parents, teachers and young people

This is usually the best approach for both clinical and research purposes. In developed countries it is also the most economical approach because although there is a modest charge for using the online DAWBA, this more than pays for itself by reducing the cost of interviewing. The current charge is £10 per individual assessed, which is the lowest price at which we can break even. Lower charges, in line with average national income, may be available to clinics and research groups in low and middle income countries.

Ever more families and schools have access to the Internet. The online youthinmind interviews allow parents, teachers and young people to complete the DAWBA from the comfort of their own home or office, and at a time that suits them. Parents often choose to complete the interview after the children have gone to bed, sometimes spreading the task over several evenings, and reflecting carefully on their answers in between. They can change or expand their previous answers if they realize that they have given misleading answers or said too little. In ordinary clinical work, it is common for parents to leave an assessment wishing they had expressed themselves more clearly or not forgotten to mention important details. The online interview allows respondents more opportunities to give the best account they can.

Internet interviews have many other advantages too. Unlike humans, computers don't get bored or forget to ask important questions. Data collection is more standardized. Shy and autistic respondents may feel more at ease answering a computer, and most respondents find it less embarrassing to tell the truth about excessive alcohol consumption, drug use or antisocial behaviour to a computer than a human. However, it is not always possible to get respondents to complete online interviews unaided. Some informants prefer to be interviewed in person (perhaps because of unfamiliarity with computers or literacy problems), and not all homes have access to the internet. These are not insuperable barriers. Respondents can be offered the choice of completing an online interview at internet terminals in clinics or research offices. Other respondents prefer to have a face-to-face or phone interview where it is the interviwer who reads the questions and enters the answers onto the online system.

The information collected online is immediately available to the clinic or project for review or rating on line. The reports summarising the symptoms and diagnoses on each child can be downloaded as a pdf file and printed or stored in electronic form. The database for the entire clinic or research project can be downloaded as csv files for statistical analysis in Excel, SPSS etc. Online interviews are currently available in 25 languages with other languages to follow soon.

For more details of the youthinmind online interviews, including demonstrations of the data-entry and rating systems, click here.

2) Interviewing in places that are not connected to the internet

If you want to administer DAWBA interviews in people's homes, the method we recommend is using a laptop that is connected to the internet through the mobile phone network, often through a USB adapter. This is an increasingly convenient and economical option in most countries.

What about an offline version? We tried for many years to provide one, but never succeeded in finding a stable soluton - no sooner had we found a workable solution than Microsoft or computer manufacturers changed programs or components and the previously successful solution failed. We are very sorry, but we have now given up on offline versions.

For more information or if you are an established clinician or researcher in child and adolescent mental health and would like to try out the online DAWBA, please email us at youthinmind@gmail.com

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Last modified : 01/09/16