Schedules for Clinical Assessment in Neuropsychiatry (SCAN)
Main reference: Wing JK, Babor T, Brugha T, et al.: SCAN. Schedules for Clinical Assessment in Neuropsychiatry. Archives of General Psychiatry 47:589–593, 1990.
Type: Semi-structured clinical interview.
Main indications: Designed to assess, measure and classify the psychopathology and behaviour associated with major psychiatric syndromes.
Rating performed by: Trained mental health professional.
Time period covered by scale: Clinical condition at the time of the assessment, as well as, typically, the month before the present and the lifetime (i.e. any previous time); other specific periods can also be assessed (e.g. a period that is particularly characteristic of the present illness).
Time required to complete rating: 60–90 minutes.
Remarks: Incorporates a non-psychotic section (including sections on physical health, worry, tension, panic, anxiety and phobias, obsessions, depressed mood and ideation, impaired thinking, impaired concentration, energy, interests, bodily functions, weight, sleep, eating problems, alcohol and drug abuse) and a section that covers psychotic and cognitive disorders.
Both parts enable the features to be rated for other episodes or lifetime manifestations as well as for the present state. In addition, there is a list of 59 item groups that must be rated directly, on the basis of information derived from case notes and informants.
There is also a section that relates to childhood and education to age 16, intellectual level, social roles and performances, overall social handicap and disablement, disorders of adult personality and behaviour, and physical illnesses or disabilities that are not entered elsewhere.
The rater must decide whether a symptom has been present during the specified period and, if so, to what degree. Data is coded; software using computerised algorithms enables DSM-IV and ICD-10 diagnoses to be made.
See also WHO's SCAN homepage.
Published on CNSforum 19 Aug 2004