A systematic review of mental health outcome measures for young people aged 12 to 25 years


Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)
201 Downloads (Pure)


Mental health outcome measures are used to monitor the quality and effectiveness of mental health services. There is also a growing expectation for implementation of routine measurement and measures being used by clinicians as a feedback monitoring system to improve client outcomes. The recent focus in Australia and elsewhere targeting mental health services to young people aged 12–25 years has meant that outcome measures relevant to this age range are now needed. This is a shift from the traditional divide of child and adolescent services versus adult services with a transitioning age at 18 years. This systematic review is the first to examine mental health outcome measures that are appropriate for the 12 to 25 year age range.

MEDLINE and PsychINFO databases were systematically searched to identify studies using mental health outcome measures with young people aged 12 to 25 years. The search strategy complied with the relevant sections of the PRISMA statement.

A total of 184 published articles were identified, covering 29 different outcome measures. The measures were organised into domains that consisted of eight measures of cognition and emotion, nine functioning measures, six quality of life measures, and six multidimensional mental health measures. No measures were designed specifically for young people aged 12 to 25 years and only two had been used by clinicians as a feedback monitoring system. Five measures had been used across the whole 12 to 25 year age range, in a range of mental health settings and were deemed most appropriate for this age group.

With changes to mental health service systems that increasingly focus on early intervention in adolescence and young adulthood, there is a need for outcome measures designed specifically for those aged 12 to 25 years. In particular, multidimensional measures that are clinically meaningful need to be developed to ensure quality and effectiveness in youth mental health. Additionally, outcome measures can be clinically useful when designed to be used within routine feedback monitoring systems
Original languageEnglish
Article number279
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 14 Nov 2015


Dive into the research topics of 'A systematic review of mental health outcome measures for young people aged 12 to 25 years'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this