OPBG was established in 1869 and is the largest paediatric hospital in Europe. The hospital employs almost 2,600 persons.

OPBG has a detection and diagnosis protocol for children victims of violence, shared by all units and activated from the emergency room.

OPBG was selected because of its innovative diagnostic methodologies to identify if hyperactive children were victims of violence, to treat and support them and their family members.

For about 30 years the neuropsychiatric operation unit deals with children victims of violence The Neuropsychiatry Unit operates in Outpatient, Day Hospital and Ordinary Hospital and carries out detection, diagnosis, assistance, follow-up and training activities. It has a section dedicated to children and adolescents who are victims of various forms of violence.

The Service deals with the diagnosis of developmental, neuropsychological and psychopathological profile of the child with a series of clinical evaluations and structured tests that also include an in-depth analysis of posttraumatic aspects.

To identify a family profile and to recognize families where a child is at risk or exposed to domestic violence, the Service follow the directions enclosed in the model Mc Master Approach to families. The McMaster Model of Family Functioning (MMFF) is clearly and systematically described in the book “EVALUATING AND TREATING FAMILIES: THE McMASTER APPROACH EVALUATING AND TREATING FAMILIES: THE McMASTER APPROACH”. 

Authors   Christine E. Ryan, Nathan B. Epstein, Gabor I. Keitner, Ivan W. Miller, Duane S. Bishop have outlined the conceptual basis for the evaluation and treatment of families.

The MMFF is a conceptual model of family functioning. Provides practical and empirically valid tools for family assessment and treatment. It includes self-assessment tools and family valuations and clinical indications for the treatment included in the Problem Centered System Therapy of the Family.  The model has been widely used in both research and clinical practice and is based on a system theory.

It is based on understanding and valuation of six dimensions: Problem solving, Communication, Roles, Affective response, Emotional involvement and Behavioural Control.

These dimensions had been selected based on their utility in the clinical environment.

The model includes three tools:

  • FAD: Family Assessment Device

A self-evaluation questionnaire concepted for valuate the private dimensions of MMFF, based on the individual’s impressions about his functioning family. Any person > 12 years old can complete the questionnaire. The questionnaire is compose by 60 items on a 4 step Likert scale and the time for complete is around 15/20 minuts.

  • McSiff: McMaster Structured Interview of Family Functioning

The McSiff is a structured interview of family system on paper form. The task of the interviewer is to ask, review and explore each dimension in depth to obtain sufficient information so that a clear and reasonable assessment can be made of the effectiveness of the family in managing the components of each dimension).

The structured of the interview:

  1. Orientantion
  2. Data collection. In this phase the data is collected based on:

Current problems – overall familiar functioning identify strengths / weaknesses

Further clarifications – possible medical, psychiatric examinations

  1. Description of the problem and clarification of the problem
  • MCRS: McMaster Clinical Rating Scale

MCRS is an external evaluation that was designed to be completed by the therapist or an external observer after the interview. The MCRS consists of six scales that follow the 6 dimensions of the McMaster Model, each of which is evaluated using a 7-point Likert scale.

There are two family assessment sessions. Meeting lasts about an hour


The PCSTF (Problem Centered System Therapy of the Family) is a multidimensional treatment form which ensure a systematic approach and use cognitive behavioural techniques. The PCSTF is a short term treatment with an efficiency cost-benefit ratio.