Free «Assessment Instruments» Essay Sample

Screens for substance use are generally categorized into brief screens, which are asked verbally (interview) or written screens (questionnaires), then filled by the participant. For home visits and fieldwork, oral screens are believed to be more efficient, whilst the written screens are more effective in office setting, whereby information can be collected, whilst persons are waiting for scheduled time or a mean, through which personnel or staff can obtain information.

These assessment tools offer information, which answers the following queries: is there an issue of substance abuse? What is the propinquity of the matter? Nevertheless, these standard screens do not deal with the issue of propinquity in terms of necessitating urgent action. Matters, necessitating urgent action, need observation signifying withdrawal or intoxication. Outcomes from systematic screening and observational information act as a strategy, which can be used to formulate a basis for urgent action.

The CAGE is a brief screen that is most extensively employed in the assessment of a substance abuse in the United States.  Indeed, it is the most constantly promoted screen for usage amongst medical professionals to categorize persons who are probable to have disorders, linked to substance abuse. It is orally administered and requires less than one minute to administer. Besides, there is no training that is necessitated for administration, and it is easily learned, remembered and replicated. It is published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, but has no copyright.

Another screening instrument for substance abuse is personal experience screening questionnaire (PESQ). It is employed for persons between the ages of 12 and 18 years and encompasses a scale that gauges the severity of the substance abuse predicament, history of drug abuse, response distortion trends and psychosocial problems. It is a paper and pencil self-administered screen, which take ten minutes to administer. Besides, no training is needed to administer.

The Western Psychological Services published personal experience screening questionnaire in 1991 at a cost of $70 per kit (with 25 administrations). This brief screen assist service providers in making suitable referrals and it is employed in environments, in which routine screening is the objective.

Mood Disorders

In the development of assessment instruments for mood disorders, researchers have made use of two approaches. One encompasses researching tools, created for the whole population, and development of specialized instruments for persons with severe mood disorder. One of the assessment instrument, used for screening mood disorder, include a 32-item tool referred to as self-report depression questionnaire (SRDQ). The validity and reliability of the self-report depression questionnaire ranges from good to excellent. For major depression, items from self-report depression questionnaire are presented on a table that maps them to DSM-IV principle. This is self-administered assessment and requires no training to administer. The administration time is ten minutes.

Another screening instrument for mood disorder is the mood disorder questionnaire (MDQ). The mood disorder questionnaire was developed by a group of researchers, psychiatrists, and consumer advocates who aimed at addressing an essential need for accurate and timely diagnosis of mood disorder that may be fatal if not treated. The questionnaire takes approximately five minutes to be completed and it is self-administered. Moreover, no training is required for persons to complete the same. The mood disorder questionnaire was published on the American Journal of Psychiatry 2000.

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The information that is typically obtained from the instrument encompass: the time, when the individual was not his usual self; problems, experienced during that period, for instance, getting into fights or arguments, legal troubles, or being incapable of working;  if there is family history for mood disorder in the family. Through this, the professional technician is offered with significant information into diagnosis and treatment.  

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is defined as any kind of abuse that is intended to result to bodily harm, injury, feelings of intimidation, among other physical suffering. Screening for physical abuse is categorized into two: standardized screening and direct questions. Direct questions are used with an aim of obtaining information, regarding the history of physical abuse, whilst standardized screening, which are structured questions, are designed with an aim of determining the likely presence of abuse. Certainly, physical abuse can be done to children, intimate partners or the elderly.

Some examples of screening tools include the abuse assessment screen (AAS). The characteristics of abuse assessment screen encompass five items, which screen for frequency and perpetrate of sexual, physical, and emotional abuse. Besides, it comprises of a body map that is intended to record the area that has been injured. The method of administration is clinician administered. The abuse assessment screen was published by the American Medical Association in the Journal of American Medical Association in 1992. The information that is typically obtained from the instrument encompasses whether a person has ever been physically abused, whether a person has ever been slapped, hit or physically hurt by others in the past one year, and area of injury of the victim.  

Another type of screening instrument for physical abuse is HITS (hurt, insult, threaten and scream). The HITS comprises of four items that are used to screen the frequency of intimate partner violence (IPV). It is either a self-report, meaning that it may be administered by the individuals themselves, or may be administered by a clinical officer. The abuse assessment screen was published in the year 1998.

The scoring procedures are that each query is answered on a five-point scale. The information that is generally obtained from the screening instrument encompass: how frequently, the person is physically hurt, insulted, threatened with physical harm, or screamed at. The HITS scale indicates excellent construct strength in its capability of differentiating abuse victims from family practice individuals. Besides, it is a promising instrument for physical abuse, screening for residents and family physicians.

Sexual abuse

Various screening and assessment instruments are employed in case of a sexual abuse. One of the instruments include SAVE. SAVE is an instrument that is employed, whilst screening individuals for sexual abuse. The characteristics of SAVE encompass four areas, which help health care personnel’s in screening, enquiring, validating and assessing persons for sexual abuse. A clinician or staffs, who necessitate having knowledge and skills in the same in order to be able to carry out the procedure, administer the screen. This is evidenced by the fact that this is a very delicate issue that requires to be handled by trained personnel in the same area. The screening instrument is used on both men and women in a health care environment. The instrument was published in the year 2003.

S- screening of all the persons for sexual abuse

A-asking the patients direct queries in a non-judgmental manner.

V-validating the responses, given by the patients

E-evaluating, educating, and referring

Another instrument, used in the assessment of sexual abuse, is Sexual and Physical Abuse History Questionnaire (SPAHQ). The characteristics of this instrument are that it comprises of six items that are meant to evaluate sexual abuse amongst individuals. A self-report is administered to women in a clinical setting. The assessment instrument was published in the year 1995.

The information that is generally obtained from the sexual and physical abuse history questionnaire encompasses: whether certain individuals have ever showed their sex organs to the patient without the latter’s consent, whether they have ever been threatened on the same, whether their sexual organs have ever been touched without their consent, and whether the patient have been at any time forced to have sex.

Personality Disorders

Assessment and screening of personality disorder is time consuming and costly. As a result, there is a requirement for brief screen that may be employed in epidemiological surveys and in clinical settings. One of the instruments that are used to screen for personality disorder is Structured Assessment of Personality Abbreviated Scale (SAPAS). This is a type of screening interview, which is administered by a trained clinician or staff. Besides, such a clinician necessitates having sufficient knowledge and skills in the same area for him/her to be able to carry out the interview.

The main aim of the Structured Assessment of Personality Abbreviated Scale (SAPAS) is to generate a dimensional score that characterizes the probability that an individual has a personality disorder generally, instead of screening for specific kinds of personality disorder. The screening instrument generates a score that ranges between zero to eight. Moreover, the instrument is designed in a manner that makes it very short; therefore, it could be employed in community surveys or routine clinical evaluations in case there is shortage of time. The administration time for SAPAS is less than one minute.

The Structured Assessment of Personality Abbreviated Scale (SAPAS) encompasses a set of questions, which are answered with either  yes or no, for instance, such questions as whether a person has difficulties in retaining or making friends are asked, how an individual has been feeling in the last few days (either nervous, fidgety, or restless). The Structured Assessment of Personality Abbreviated Scale is designed to cover various personality areas. 


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