What tests are used to diagnose anxiety?
At Children’s Hospital Colorado, anxiety is diagnosed by completing a clinical interview with a specially trained mental health professional.
While there are no lab tests or imaging procedures to diagnose anxiety, our caregivers use advanced, kid-friendly methods (like rating scales) to make a diagnosis.
When diagnosing this condition, we focus on the symptoms of anxiety and how they impact your child’s functioning.
Why choose Children’s Colorado for anxiety disorders?
Our Pediatric Mental Health Institute team is highly qualified and knowledgeable about anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorders in children. Our psychiatrists have additional specialized training with children and are board-certified in child and adolescent psychiatry. Our clinical psychologists and behavioral health clinicians typically have specialized degrees and/or additional training in pediatrics as well.
Reflected in our affiliation with University of Colorado School of Medicine, we strive to provide diagnostic evaluations that are grounded in the most up-to-date clinical research findings. Moreover, our waiting room setup and staff are sensitive to the needs of children who may be nervous or scared, and we have toys, art materials, snacks and other soothing items to help put kids at ease.
What to expect during an evaluation for an anxiety disorder
An evaluation for anxiety, or any other emotional or behavioral concern, requires time to get to know the patient and their symptoms, and to build an individualized treatment plan.
The first visit takes about an hour and a half, with ongoing evaluation and refining of the treatment plan as treatment progresses. Your first visit will likely include forms to fill out, rating scales and a detailed history gathering. Sometimes, we request additional records or school reports.
How do providers at Children’s Hospital Colorado diagnose anxiety?
Our diagnosis is guided by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and by the clinical expertise of our providers. Parents, children, therapists and psychiatrists typically collaborate and discuss diagnosis to ensure accuracy, which is crucial to direct appropriate treatment.