The PECFAS is a measure of functional impairment related to behavioral, emotional, psychological, or psychiatric problems. It is based on the widely used Child and Adolescent Functional Assessment Scale (CAFAS) and is for children who are not yet enrolled in a full-day kindergarten or first grade. It measures impairment using 7 subscales: 1) School/Daycare, 2) Home, 3) Community, 4) Behavior Toward Others, 5) Moods/Emotions, 6) Self-Harmful Behavior, 7) Thinking/Communication. Two additional subscales assess the caregiving environment: 1) Material Needs, and 2) Family/Social Support. Each subscale has an accompanying set of strengths and goals. It was designed to facilitate the development of a "strengths-based and outcome-driven" treatment plan (Hodges, 2003).
Hodges, K. (2003). CAFAS Manual for Training Coordinators, Clinical Administrators, and Data Managers. Second Edition. Ann Arbor, MI: Kay Hodges.
Each subscale is rated by level of impairment: minimal or no impairment: no disruption of functioning (0); mild impairment; significant problem or distress (10); moderate impairment: major or persistent disruption (20), and severe impairment: severe disruption or incapacitation (30). Each subscale is rated by level of impairment: minimal or no impairment: no disruption of functioning (0), mild impairment, significant problem or distress (10), moderate impairment: major or persistent disruption (20), and severe impairment: severe disruption or incapacitation (30). The number of items is reported as 9 because one level of impairment is selected for each of the 9 subscales. However, each level of impairment has multiple examples of behaviors that would indicate impairment at that level.
As Hodges (2003) notes, norms are not appropriate because, typically, children who have not been identified as having a problem should have a very low score (0=minimal/no impairment), resulting in a skewed distribution. The author suggests that specialized or "local norms" are more appropriate. For example, for a child referred for autism, it might be helpful to compare that child to other children referred for autism.
While there are no standard cutoffs, a score of 40 or more has been used as an indicator of severe emotional distrurbance on the CAFAQS and PECFAS
|Validity Type||Not known||Not found||Nonclincal Samples||Clinical Samples||Diverse Samples|
|Sensitive to Change|
|Sensitive to Theoretically Distinct Groups|
|Not Known||Not Found||Nonclinical Samples||Clinical Samples||Diverse Samples|
1. The measure is based on the CAFAS, which is one of the most widely used measures of functional impairment in children. 2. Similar to the CAFAS, the measure has strong clinical utility in that it is tied to treatment planning. 3. A Google search suggests that the PECFAS has been adopted by a number of state mental health systems as a performance outcome evaluation measure, suggesting that the measure is widely used in community mental health systems. 4. There is a Spanish version of the measure. 5. It appears that good training procedures are in place to facilitate reliable completion of the measure.
1. Although the measure is based on the widely used and evaluated CAFAS, there is only 1 published article on the psychometrics of the PECFAS, and the sample size for this study was small. Only 30 children had PECFAS data. 2. More research is needed examining the psychometrics in larger samples, looking at whether, similar to the CAFAS, the PECFAS detects change due to treatment.