Systematic review on the use and description of measures to evaluate psychotherapeutic interventions with children and adolescents in Brazil

Abstract Introduction: Psychotherapeutic interventions in childhood and adolescence are recognized as a mental treatment and as a tool to reduce psychological disorders in youth and adulthood. Therefore, there is an increasing concern about evidence of effectiveness of mental disorder interventions and adequacy of measurement. The objectives of this systematic review were to investigate predominant research designs and instruments used in Brazilian studies describing psychotherapeutic interventions with children and adolescents and to examine how these instruments are described regarding evidence of validity and reliability. Method: Five databases were surveyed, and for each one two independent judges performed the selection of records and applied the inclusion and exclusion criteria. Results: The final database comprised 28 papers, in which 92 instruments were referred. Fifty-seven instruments cited did not have descriptions of evidence of validity for the Brazilian population; for 31 instruments, validity evidence was mentioned, but the study did not detail which validity parameter was used; three studies described content validity evidence for their instruments. Furthermore, information about reliability was described for only two instruments. Conclusion: A lack of studies in the field of child and adolescent psychotherapy was found in Brazil. There is a significant need for the field to attend both the psychometric properties and the quality of description of research instruments. The scientific production of studies focused on the evaluation of psychotherapeutic interventions may promote evidence-based psychotherapy and justify the offer of mental treatment in different contexts.