Computer psychiatric interviews of young people had a diagnostic success rate of 80-90%, according to a University of Aberdeen trial.
The tests were used to diagnose and create a psychiatric history in order that clinicians could then more quickly choose the right service for children in need.
Psychiatric conditions were divided into:
1. Anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, phobias
2. Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder
3. Autism, asperger’s syndrome
4. Oppositional and conduct disorders
Professor Philip Wilson, head of the University of Aberdeen’s Centre for Rural Health said: “This is an important trial to test a new service which could ultimately lead to a slicker, more thorough and effective system for psychiatric referral for children and young people.
“The current system is inefficient at best and often results in families being sent from pillar to post due to inaccurate or non-comprehensive diagnosis. It’s bad for the children and young people, for the parents and teachers, and the GP who has to manage a situation which is often drawn out and frustrating for all involved.
“It is our hope that the new system will contribute to improved and more equal access to timely outpatient psychiatry services, specialist evaluation and treatment according to best practice, improved capacity in primary care and more rational use of specialist services.”