Survey Design for TANF Caseload Project: Summary Report and Recommendations. Recommended Measures


Building on what is known at this time about mental health barriers among welfare recipients, we recommend taking a specific, rather than broad and general, approach. Although it is now possible to diagnose many types of mental health conditions within a survey context, we propose to measure the prevalence of disorders that research suggests are more prevalent among low-income women: Major Depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Furthermore, because of the high rates of mental health problems in welfare recipients, we recommend assessing the presence of conditions using only the best available measures that can be administered in a brief telephone survey. In particular, we propose the CIDI-SF to diagnose the prevalence of these disorders. The depression module of the CIDI-SF consists of 16 major questions and took only two minutes to administer in the WES. The module for GAD has 17 mostly simple yes/no items. The PTSD module is available in the CIDI and contains 35 items.

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