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What it measures:

  • Screening tool for childhood anxiety
  • Uses both patient/child report (SCARED-C) and parent report (SCARED-P) 
  • Looks at 5 domains of anxiety including generalized anxiety, separation anxiety, social anxiety, panic or somatic symptoms, and school avoidance

Target Population:

Validated for use with children 8-18 years old of various ethnicities.1-3

Note: For aged 8 to 11 years, recommended use includes the clinician explaining all questions, or having an adult present to answer any of the child's questions.1

This tool is available in the following languages4: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai

Taskforce Recommendations
The United States Preventative Services Task Force recommends that primary care clinicians screen patients aged 8-64 years for anxiety. See APTA's practice advisory: Screening Patients for Anxiety, for additional details.

Clinical Insights
SCARED is a quick and easy screening tool that combines input from parents and children. While the test has demonstrated relatively strong psychometric properties, a discrepancy can exist between child and parent scores, with parents tending to report fewer symptoms than their children.5, 6 A physical therapist in inpatient, outpatient, or school-based settings can utilize this screening tool to determine if a patient's anxiety could negatively impact their PT Plan of Care (POC). A cut-off score of > 25 warrants referral to a qualified health care professional. This referral could be to a patient's established primary care physician (PCP) or other properly trained health care provider. If a patient does not have a PCP, the PT should assist the patient or caregiver in searching for an appropriate provider, which could be done utilizing an online directory or a patient's insurance database for in-network providers.

Time: 10 minutes4

Cost: Free

Equipment: None

Training: None 

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