A Clinical Study of Competency in Child Psychiatric Inpatients
S. B. Billick, J. L. Edwards, W. B. III, J. R. Serlen and S. M. Bruni,
Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law
26(4): 587-594, 1998.
A 17-item competency questionnaire, modified for use with children and
adolescents (CQ-ChP), was used to evaluate competency to consent to hospitalization and treatment
in child psychiatric inpatients. A total of 25 consecutive English-speaking psychiatric child inpatient
admissions were studied. Demographic data were statistically analyzed using chi square, and there
were no significant statistical differences between the competent and incompetent groups (using
CQ-ChP scores and cut-offs). The various demographic/clinical variables and scores on the
questionnaire were also statistically evaluated using chi square. The only statistical significance was
the association between reading level and competency with a value of p > .05. Therefore, by
achieving a reading level at the fifth-grade standard, subjects were found to be competent as
measured by the CQ-ChP.