BACKGROUND The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), developed for use with adults, has potential with adolescents.
AIMS To test the HADS's validity with adolescents.
METHOD The HADS was given to 248 schoolchildren and to 48 psychiatric out-patients and 38 deliberate self-harm in-patients aged 12-17, and validated against ICD-10 diagnoses for the out-patients.
RESULTS The HADS has adequate test-retest reliability and factor structure, and discriminates between adolescents diagnosed with depressive or anxiety disorders and those without these diagnoses.
CONCLUSIONS The psychometric properties of the HADS and its shortness make it useful for screening and in clinical settings with adolescents.