Brief mental health disorder screening questionnaires and use with public safety personnel: A review

Shields, Robyn, E.
Korol, Stephanie
Carleton, R. Nicholas
McElheran, Megan
Stelnicki, Andrea, M.
Groll, Dianne
Anderson, Gregory, S.
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Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute

Brief mental health disorder screening questionnaires (SQs) are used by psychiatrists, physicians, researchers, psychologists, and other mental health professionals and may provide an efficient method to guide clinicians to query symptom areas requiring further assessment. For exam- ple, annual screening has been used to help identify military personnel who may need help. Nearly half (44.5%) of Canadian public safety personnel (PSP) screen positive for one or more mental health disorder(s); as such, regular mental health screenings for PSP may be a valuable way to support men- tal health. The following review was conducted to (1) identify existing brief mental health disorder SQs; (2) review empirical evidence of the validity of identified SQs; (3) identify SQs validated within PSP populations; and (4) recommend appropriately validated brief screening questionnaires for five common mental health disorders (i.e., generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), major depressive depres- sion (MDD), panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, alcohol use disorder). After reviewing the psychometric properties of the identified brief screening questionnaires, we recommend the following four brief screening tools for use with PSP: the Patient Health Questionnaire-4 (screening for MDD and GAD), the Brief Panic Disorder Symptom Screen—Self-Report, the Short-Form Posttraumatic Checklist-5, and the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test-Consumption.

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brief screening tools, public safety personnel, mental disorders, questionnaires, MDD, GAD, panic disorder, PTSD, alcohol use disorde
Shields, R. E., Korol, S., Carleton, R. N., McElheran, M., Stelnicki, A. M., Groll, D., & Anderson, G. S. (2021). Brief mental health disorder screening questionnaires and use with public safety personnel: A review. International Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health, 18, 3743.