Purpose: To develop a mobile app containing screening questionnaires for mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders to help streamline efficiency of use for both pediatric patients and health care professional staff



Early detection of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders is vital to prevent ongoing impairment and provide effective treatment services.

Pediatricians report the need for standardized, easily deployed, accessible, and automatically scored mobile screening measures for completion by parents in waiting rooms prior to commencing office visits in pediatric primary care settings. Consistent use of developmentally appropriate, psychometrically strong screening questionnaires can improve rates of early detection and access to services which has important public health implications for children’s overall health and well-being. Currently, there are no mobile software applications containing screening questionnaires that can be accessed on multiple platforms by parents in a pediatrician’s waiting room where the results can be immediately and automatically provided to pediatricians for use during the office visit.

The proposed App and website are designed to fill that gap in software services. This application was designed in response to the PHS 2017-2, Omnibus Solicitation for SBIR/STTR Grant Applications requested by CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) to create a “(2) Technology-Assisted In-Office Screening for Mental, Emotional and Behavioral Disorders in Pediatric Practices.”

The aim of the project is to develop and determine the feasibility of an innovative mobile application (App) and website that can be used by parents, office staff, and pediatricians during pediatric office visits to screen for mental, emotional, and behavior disorders. The software system will be designed based upon consultation with end-users to be able to include a library of reliable and valid parent-report screening questionnaires accessible on tablets and smartphones that can be completed in a pediatrician’s waiting room. Item responses will be immediately transmitted to the web application, where they will be automatically scored so that the results will be accessible when needed by the pediatrician during the same office visit. In Phase I, the software application system will be developed with input from experts in the areas of pediatrics, neuropsychology, child clinical psychology, and child development. Interviews will first be conducted with pediatricians, office staff, and parents to learn more about the typical workflow during pediatric office visits and communication patterns between providers and families as well as gain input on the desired functionality and usability of the App and website.

Once the prototype has been developed, parents, office staff, and pediatricians will participate in separate One-to One Evaluation Studies to examine the usability of the App and website. After any software errors or usability problems are addressed that were identified during the usability studies, a Feasibility Study will be conducted in pediatric offices to pilot the full functionality of the App during actual office visits with families. Physicians (N = 8), three parents per physician (N = 24), and office staff (N = 8) will be recruited to participate. Physicians and office staff will be interviewed and parents will complete questionnaires about their satisfaction and engagement with the App and website.



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