Assessment tools for parent's state of mind / mental health
by Robin Balbernie

This page is an edited extract from a paper written by Robin Balbernie on assessment and evaluation measures / tools that can be used in early intervention services. See the full paper here. Robin divides all the tools he describes into nine areas of which the state of mind / mental health of the parent is the seventh, each of the nine areas has a separate page on this wiki, links to all nine areas are available on an overview page.)

1. The Adult Well-being Scale appears to have a wide use and is regarded as helpful. (Copy available.) Available from the department of
Health. You can download this from lots of other sources, e.g. Not sure if this might not merge infant mental health work into compensating for a lack of adult mental health provision, but this would not apply in a combined perinatal service. The
advantage of this, compared with the HADS, is that it also probes for irritability as well as anxiety and depression.

2. The Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale. No real idea about this, feedback welcome.

3. The Generalized Anxiety Disorder assessment, GAD-7, is widely used. May identify those with real anxiety problems along with the neurotic
who like to think they have a problem. Could easily give false positives. See: Again the risk of an
early intervention team being seen as an adult service. Both caveats also apply to all these measures of course.

4. The Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) that is designed to pick up depressive symptomology.

5. OXPIP have devised a risk assessment for suicide covering intentions, plans, actions and prevention. Only used when a hint of risk has been
previously picked up. This is not given to a parent but the questions are used as prompts. Copy available.

6. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS, for a copy see:
f ) This carries 7 questions each for anxiety and depression and takes about 5 minutes at the most to complete. It is meant to enable early
identification of both. Might be easy to fake positives if you really wanted to, but apparently this rarely happens, and it is widely used and
makes sense to parents. Has the advantage of combining two issues and has been recommended.

7. The DASS looks equally applicable – Depression and Anxiety Scale. Again both issues combined in one self-report questionnaire. See for details and a copy of the measure. ‘The
essential function of the DASS is to assess the severity of the core symptoms of Depression, Anxiety and Stress. Accordingly, the DASS
allows not only a way to measure the severity of a patient’s symptoms but a means by which a patient’s response to treatment can also be

8. The Kessler – 10 Questionnaire is also widely used to measure psychological distress. It is a ten-item questionnaire designed to give a
global measure of distress based upon questions about the anxiety and depression symptoms the individual has experienced in the previous
four week. See: