Pediatric Symptom Checklist-17 (PSC-17)

Explore children's emotional well-being with the Pediatric Symptom Checklist-17 (PSC-17). Quick, reliable screening tool for psychosocial issues in kids.

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What is the Pediatric Symptom Checklist-17 (PSC-17)?

Pediatric symptoms encompass many physical and emotional signs that children may exhibit when facing illness or discomfort. These can include fever, cough, abdominal pain, anxiety, irritability, and changes in behavior or school performance. Identifying and addressing these symptoms promptly is crucial for ensuring the well-being and optimal development of children.

The is a valuable screening tool widely used in pediatric healthcare and child psychology. Developed to identify potential psychosocial and emotional issues in children and adolescents, the PSC is completed by parents, caregivers, or teachers who observe the child's behavior over a specific period.

Recognizing that the PSC is a screening instrument, not a diagnostic tool is crucial. A high score on the PSC doesn't directly indicate a specific disorder but suggests potential problems that warrant further evaluation by qualified healthcare professionals or mental health specialists.

The PSC has proven highly effective in early identification and intervention for children facing emotional and behavioral challenges. It finds practical application in pediatric clinics, schools, and community centers, promoting improved mental health outcomes as children grow and develop. By recognizing and addressing issues early on, the PSC plays a significant role in supporting the well-being of children and fostering their healthy emotional development.

Printable Pediatric Symptom Checklist-17

Download this Pediatric Symptom Checklist-17 to assess young clients.

How to use the Pediatric Symptom Checklist-17 (PSC-17):

The Pediatric Symptom Checklist (PSC) is a valuable screening tool for identifying psychosocial and emotional issues in children and adolescents. It can be effectively utilized by healthcare professionals, educators, and parents to gain insights into a child's behavioral and emotional well-being. The PSC-17 is a shortened version of the checklist, containing 17 questions, which makes it a convenient and time-efficient option for screening purposes.

Step 1: Download Printable Pediatric Symptom Checklist-17 (PSC-17)

Start by obtaining a printable version of the PSC-17 from reliable sources such as medical or child health websites. The PSC-17 is available online and can be easily accessed for free.

Step 2: Introduction and Explanation

Introduce the checklist to the child's parent, caregiver, or teacher who will be completing it. Provide a brief explanation of the purpose and importance of the PSC-17 in identifying potential emotional and behavioral challenges.

Step 3: Respondent Information

On the checklist, have the respondent provide basic information about the child, including their name, age, gender, and any other relevant identifiers. Ensuring accuracy in this section is essential for later reference and follow-up.

Step 4: Answering the Questions

The PSC-17 comprises 17 questions that assess both internalizing and externalizing symptoms. For each question, the respondent should indicate whether the behavior described is "Not True," "Sometimes True," or "Often True" for the child being assessed. Encourage the respondent to be as honest and accurate as possible to yield reliable results.

Step 5: Scoring the Checklist

After completing the checklist, calculate the total score by assigning points to each response category (Not True = 0, Sometimes True = 1, Often True = 2) and summing them up. The total score will range from 0 to 34, with higher scores indicating a higher likelihood of psychosocial issues.

Step 6: Interpretation and Follow-up

Interpret the total score to determine the child's overall psychosocial functioning. Higher scores may warrant further evaluation by qualified healthcare professionals or mental health specialists to identify potential challenges and provide appropriate interventions or support.

Pediatric Symptom Checklist-17 (PSC-17) Example

This example outlines the step-by-step process of using the Pediatric Symptom Checklist-17 (PSC-17) to screen for psychosocial and emotional issues in children and adolescents. It provides a concise guide on downloading the printable checklist, introducing it to respondents, and collecting essential information about the child being assessed. The example also explains how to answer the questions in the checklist, score the responses, and interpret the total score to identify potential challenges.

By following this example, users understand how to utilize the PSC-17 in their healthcare or educational settings effectively. It empowers them to implement the tool confidently, enabling early detection of emotional and behavioral concerns in children. Additionally, users are encouraged to seek further evaluation and intervention from qualified professionals based on the checklist's results. 

Overall, this example equips users with valuable knowledge and resources to support the well-being and mental health of children as they progress through their developmental stages.

Download this Pediatric Symptom Checklist-17 Example:

Pediatric Symptom Checklist-17 (PSC-17) Example

When would you use this Pediatric Symptom Checklist-17 (PSC-17)?

The Pediatric Symptom Checklist-17 (PSC-17) is a valuable tool for identifying psychosocial and emotional issues in children and adolescents. Healthcare professionals, educators, and parents can use it to screen for behavioral and emotional challenges, allowing for early intervention and support.

The best times to use the PSC-17 include routine well-child checkups or pediatric visits, offering insights into a child's emotional well-being, aiding in early issue detection and appropriate support. In schools, teachers can utilize the checklist to assess a child's emotional and behavioral functioning, tailoring their approach and providing necessary support. When a child displays concerning behavioral changes or emotional struggles, completing the PSC-17 can serve as a starting point for seeking professional guidance and understanding the child's needs better.

Healthcare professionals like pediatricians, child psychologists, and school counselors are well-equipped to administer and interpret the PSC-17. They can use its results to guide further evaluation, provide counseling, or recommend appropriate interventions to comprehensively address the child's emotional and mental well-being. The PSC-17 empowers users to proactively address emotional challenges in children, leading to better outcomes and fostering their overall well-being as they grow and develop.

What are the benefits of using this Pediatric Symptom Checklist-17 (PSC-17)?

The free Pediatric Symptom Checklist-17 (PSC-17) offers numerous advantages in assessing psychosocial and emotional issues in children and adolescents, as supported by research and practical applications.

Early Detection and Intervention

Studies have shown that the PSC-17 aids in the early detection of emotional and behavioral challenges in children (Huang, Chung, Kroenke, Delucchi, & Spitzer, 2006). By identifying potential problems at an early stage, appropriate interventions and support can be initiated promptly, leading to better outcomes and improved mental well-being for children.

Easy Implementation and Time-efficient

The PSC-17 is a user-friendly and time-efficient tool that can be easily administered by healthcare professionals, educators, or parents (Gardner, Lucas, Kolko, & Campo, 2007). Its straightforward format ensures quick completion, making it convenient for routine screening in busy clinical or educational settings.

Effective in Diverse Settings

Research has shown that the PSC-17 is effective in various settings, including primary care clinics and schools (Gardner et al., 2007). Its versatility allows for seamless integration into different environments, enabling widespread use and comprehensive screening.

Supports Tailored Interventions

The PSC-17 results help guide appropriate interventions by pinpointing specific areas of concern (Foy, Kelleher, Laraque, & Harris, 2016). This supports healthcare professionals and educators in tailoring their approach to meet each child's individual needs, enhancing the effectiveness of interventions.

Enhances Communication and Collaboration

Completing the PSC-17 fosters open communication between healthcare professionals, educators, and parents (Foy et al., 2016). Collaborative efforts to address a child's emotional well-being result in a comprehensive and holistic approach to their care.

Promotes Child Well-being and Mental Health

Research indicates that early screening and intervention using tools like the PSC-17 contribute to better mental health outcomes in children (Foy et al., 2016). By addressing emotional challenges early, children are more likely to develop coping skills and experience improved overall well-being.

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Commonly asked questions

How long does it normally take to accomplish the Pediatric Symptom Checklist-17 (PSC-17)?

The PSC-17 is a brief screening tool that typically takes 5-10 minutes to complete. Parents or guardians rate their child on 17 items, assessing behavioral and emotional aspects like sleep problems, withdrawal, aggression, and school difficulties.

How do you interpret the findings of the Pediatric Symptom Checklist-17 (PSC-17)?

The total score on the PSC-17 determines whether the child may have psychosocial issues. A score of 15 or higher indicates significant behavioral or emotional problems requiring comprehensive assessment. Additionally, there are clinical cutoff scores for three subscales: Internalizing, Attention, and Externalizing. Scores equal to or higher than these cutoffs suggest the need for more comprehensive assessment in specific areas.

When is the Pediatric Symptom Checklist-17 (PSC-17) used?

The PSC-17 finds application in various settings, including primary care offices, mental health clinics, and schools. It is a screening tool to identify children at risk of mental health problems. Moreover, it helps monitor children's progress receiving mental health treatment.

Who can use the Pediatric Symptom Checklist-17 (PSC-17)?

Healthcare professionals trained in its use, such as pediatricians, family physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers, can utilize the PSC-17. It is also available for use by parents and guardians.

How long does it normally take to accomplish the Pediatric Symptom Checklist-17 (PSC-17)?
How long does it normally take to accomplish the Pediatric Symptom Checklist-17 (PSC-17)?
Written by
Olivia Sayson
Olivia Sayson

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