Iqtidar Mansoor, MD Aiman Tohid, MD, MPH2, Fauzia Arain3, MD, Zubair Hassan, MD4, Sumera Afzal, MD5, Arsalan Ahmad, MD6, Muhammad Zeshan, MD7

1St. George’s University, Grenada, 2 University of Southern California, Department of Psychiatry, Los Angeles, CA, USA, 3 BronxCare Health System Icahn School of Medicine, Department of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, New York, USA, 4 King Edward Medical University, Department of Psychiatry, Lahore, Pakistan, 5 Ziauddin Medical University, Department of Medicine, Karachi, Pakistan, 6Nishtar Medical College, Department of Medicine, Multan, Pakistan, 7 Rutgers University, Psychiatry, Newark, NJ, USA


The dynamics of parent-child/family-child relationships have a significant impact on children’s mental health and can lead to childhood psychiatric disorders. In recent years, diagnostic family interviews have been utilized to evaluate any underlying childhood psychiatric disorders. evaluate the use of family diagnostic interviews in order to identify the best practices for obtaining more reliable diagnoses.

Material(s) and Method(s):

We searched databases Pubmed, Google Scholar, Cochrane, and Medline using keywords: evaluation, assessment, psychiatric disorders in children/adolescents, family interview, diagnostic assessment. We reviewed 55 articles and included 5 in this review. An epidemiological study in Chile concerning the prevalence of child and adolescent mental disorders1. A randomized controlled trial assessing the effect of familial interventions2. A multivariate analysis of the association of childhood adversities and psychiatric disorders3. Meta-analysis of studies on PTSD in children after hospitalization4. A correlational study assessing anxiety symptoms 5. All 5 studies utilized family diagnostic interviews to diagnose psychiatric disorders in children.


Utilization of DSM-IV algorithm conducting family interviews identifying that the prevalence rate of diagnosis was much higher when family interviews were conducted. Measurement of outcomes must include changes in overall family dynamics rather than just individual assessments 2. Familial related adversities were identified as a predictive factor psychiatric disorders emphasizing the benefit of familial interviews3. PTSD symptoms were best assessed by familial input4. Family coping methods and paternal psychopathology should be included in study questions.5


One of the fee instruments physicians have to holistically evaluate patients is the familial diagnostics interview. When attempting to evaluate children, individual counseling sessions fall short because children do not experience the same degree of comfort with doctors as they do with relatives. Conducting a proper family interview has become necessary in order to get a better understanding of a child’s medical condition.