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Separation Anxiety (cont.)

Questions to Ask the Doctor about Separation Anxiety

  • Can you perform an evaluation to determine if my child is socially isolated due to anxiety or depression?
  • Can you perform or refer for a family assessment?
  • How can the child be supported in the school environment to prevent secondary school refusal?
  • What other tests should be performed to rule out other causes of anxiety symptoms?

Separation Anxiety Exams and Tests

The following structured and semistructured interview scales, administered by a medical professional, can be extremely helpful for the diagnosis and treatment of separation anxiety disorder:

  • The Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule for Children (ADIS)
  • The Anxiety Rating Scale for Children (Revised)
  • Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children (MASC) - Duke University
  • Revised Children's Manifest Anxiety Scale
  • Visual Analogue Scale for Anxiety (Revised)
  • Interview Schedule for Anxiety Disorders for DSM-IV (Child Version)
  • Social Anxiety Scale for Children (Revised)
  • Diagnostic Interview for Children and Adolescents Revised (DICA-R)
  • National Institute of Mental Health Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children (DISC)
  • Child Behavior Checklist (Achenback ASEBA)
  • The Screen for Child Anxiety Related Emotional Disorders (SCARED) - Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic (WPIC)
  • The Separation Anxiety Test (Wash U)

A physical exam with clinically pertinent medical testing should be performed, preferably by the primary-care physician. Tests may be performed to rule out metabolic abnormalities (for example, hyperthyroidism, hypoglycemia), cardiovascular abnormalities, or central nervous system infections because they may cause symptoms of acute anxiety that, in children, might appear to be separation anxiety.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 1/27/2016
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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Anxiety Disorder: Separation Anxiety and School Refusal »

According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV), separation anxiety is a fairly common anxiety disorder that consists of excessive anxiety beyond that expected for the child's developmental level related to separation or impending separation from the attachment figure (eg, primary caretaker, close family member) occurring in children younger than 18 years and lasting for at least 4 weeks.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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