Book: Assessment Procedures for Counsellors and Helping Professionals

Book Title:

Assessment Procedures for Counsellors and Helping Professionals.

Author(s): Carl Sheperis, Robert Drummond, and Karyn Jones.

Year: 2019.

Edition: Ninth (9th).

Publisher: Pearson.

Type(s): Paperback.

Synopsis:

A classic textbook for aspiring counsellors, now updated and expanded to improve its usefulness and relevance for practicing counsellors.

Since its first publication in 1988, Assessment Procedures for Counsellors and Helping Professionals has become a classic among assessment textbooks designed specifically for aspiring counsellors. Now in its 9th Edition, the text includes extensive changes to content and updating throughout, while maintaining its popular, easy-to-read format and continuing emphasis on assessment information that is most useful and relevant for school counsellors, marriage and family therapists, mental health counsellors, and other helping professionals. Throughout the text, readers get invaluable information and examples about widely used assessment instruments in order to become familiar with these well-known tests.

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Book: Assessing Adolescent Psychopathology: MMPI-A / MMPI-A-RF

Book Title:

Assessing Adolescent Psychopathology: MMPI-A / MMPI-A-RF.

Author(s): Robert P. Archer.

Year: 2016.

Edition: Fourth (4th).

Publisher: Routledge.

Type(s): Hardcover and Paperback.

Synopsis:

Assessing Adolescent Psychopathology: MMPI-A / MMPI-A-RF, Fourth Edition provides updated recommendations for researchers and clinicians concerning the MMPI-A, the most widely used objective personality test with adolescents, and also introduces the MMPI-A-Restructured Form ( MMPI-A-RF), the newest form of the MMPI for use with adolescents. Further, this fourth edition includes comprehensive information on both MMPI forms for adolescents, including descriptions of the development, structure, and interpretive approaches to the MMPI-A and the MMPI-A-RF. This text provides extensive clinical case examples of the interpretation of both tests, including samples of computer based test package output, and identifies important areas of similarities and differences between these two important tests of adolescent psychopathology.

Book: MMPI-A Assessing Adolescent Psychopathology

Book Title:

MMPI-A Assessing Adolescent Psychopathology.

Author(s): Robert P. Archer.

Year: 2005.

Edition: Third (3ed).

Publisher: Routledge.

Type(s): Hardcover.

Synopsis:

This third edition of Robert Archer’s classic step-by-step guide to the MMPI-A continues the tradition of the first two in presenting the essential facts and recommendations for students, clinicians, and researchers interested in understanding and utilising this assessment instrument to its fullest .

Special features of the third edition include:

  • Presentation of appropriate administration criteria;
  • Updated references to document the recent development of an increasingly solid empirical foundation – more than 160 new ones;
  • Extensive review of new MMPI-A scales and subscales including the content component scales and the PSY-5 scales;
  • Expanded variety of clinical examples; and
  • A new chapter on the rapidly expanding forensic uses of the MMPI-A, including those in correctional facilities and in custody or personal injury evaluations.

Is the PROMIS® v2.0 Cognitive Function Scale a Reliable Measure of Subjective Cognitive Functioning?

Research Paper Title

Normative Reference Values, Reliability, and Item-Level Symptom Endorsement for the PROMIS® v2.0 Cognitive Function-Short Forms 4a, 6a and 8a.

Background

Reliable, valid, and precise measures of perceived cognitive functioning are useful in clinical practice and research. The researchers present normative data, internal consistency statistics, item-level symptom endorsement, and the base rates of symptoms endorsed for the PROMIS® v2.0 Cognitive Function-Short Forms.

Methods

The four-, six -, and eight-item short form of the PROMIS® v2.0 Cognitive Function scale assess subjective cognitive functioning. The researchers stratified the normative sample from the US general population (n = 1,009; 51.1% women) by gender, education, health status, self-reported history of a depression or anxiety diagnosis, and recent mental health symptoms (i.e. feeling anxious or depressed in the past week) and examined cognitive symptom reporting.

Results

Internal consistency was measured using Cronbach’s alpha and ranged from .85 to .95 for all three forms, across all groups. Mann-Whitney U test comparisons showed that individuals with past or present mental health difficulties scored significantly lower (i.e., worse perceived cognitive functioning) on the self-report questionnaires, particularly the eight-item form (history of depression, men: p < .001, Cohen’s d = 1.07; women: p < .001, d = .99; history of anxiety, men: p < .001, d = 1.06; women: p < .001, d = .98; and current mental health symptoms, men: p < .001, d = 1.38; women: p < .001, d = 1.19).

Conclusions

All three short forms of the PROMIS® v2.0 Cognitive Function scale had strong internal consistency reliability, supporting its use as a reliable measure of subjective cognitive functioning. The subgroup differences in perceived cognitive functioning supported the relationship between emotional and cognitive well-being. This study is the first to present normative values and base rates for several community-dwelling subgroups, allowing for precise interpretation of these measures in clinical practice and research.

Reference

Iverson, G.L., Marsh, J.M., Connors, E.J. & Terry, D.P. (2021) Normative Reference Values, Reliability, and Item-Level Symptom Endorsement for the PROMIS® v2.0 Cognitive Function-Short Forms 4a, 6a and 8a. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology. doi: 10.1093/arclin/acaa128. Online ahead of print.

Clinically Rated Semi-Structured Interviews: An Alternative Gold Standard?

Research Paper Title

Validating mental health assessment in Kenya using an innovative gold standard.

Background

With the growing burden of mental health disorders worldwide, alongside efforts to expand availability of evidence-based interventions, strategies are needed to ensure accurate identification of individuals suffering from mental disorders.

Efforts to locally validate mental health assessments are of particular value, yet gold-standard clinical validation is costly, time-intensive, and reliant on available professionals.

This study aimed to validate assessment items for mental distress in Kenya, using an innovative gold standard and a combination of culturally adapted and locally developed items.

Methods

The mixed-method study drew on surveys and semi-structured interviews, conducted by lay interviewers, with 48 caregivers.

Interviews were used to designate mental health “cases” or “non-cases” based on emotional health problems, identified through a collaborative clinical rating process with local input.

Results

Individual mental health survey items were evaluated for their ability to discriminate between cases and non-cases.

Discriminant survey items included 23 items adapted from existing mental health assessment tools, as well as 6 new items developed for the specific cultural context.

When items were combined into a scale, results showed good psychometric properties.

Conclusions

The use of clinically rated semi-structured interviews provides a promising alternative gold standard that can help address the challenges of conducting diagnostic clinical validation in low-resource settings.

Reference

Watson, L>K., Kaiser, B.N., Giusto, A.M., Ayuku, D. & Puffer, E.S. (2020) Validating mental health assessment in Kenya using an innovative gold standard. International Journal of Psychology. 55(3), pp.425-434. doi: 10.1002/ijop.12604. Epub 2019 Jun 17.

Can We Use Smartphones in the Assessment & Prediction of Mental Health?

Research Paper Title

Digital phenotyping for assessment and prediction of mental health outcomes: a scoping review protocol.

Background

Rapid advancements in technology and the ubiquity of personal mobile digital devices have brought forth innovative methods of acquiring healthcare data.

Smartphones can capture vast amounts of data both passively through inbuilt sensors or connected devices and actively via user engagement.

This scoping review aims to evaluate evidence to date on the use of passive digital sensing/phenotyping in assessment and prediction of mental health.

Methods

The methodological framework proposed by Arksey and O’Malley will be used to conduct the review following the five-step process.

A three-step search strategy will be used:

  1. Initial limited search of online databases namely, MEDLINE for literature on digital phenotyping or sensing for key terms;
  2. Comprehensive literature search using all identified keywords, across all relevant electronic databases: IEEE Xplore, MEDLINE, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, PubMed, the ACM Digital Library and Web of Science Core Collection (Science Citation Index Expanded and Social Sciences Citation Index), Scopus; and
  3. Snowballing approach using the reference and citing lists of all identified key conceptual papers and primary studies.

Data will be charted and sorted using a thematic analysis approach.

Findings

The findings from this systematic scoping review will be reported at scientific meetings and published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Reference

Spinazze, P., Rykov, Y., Bottle, A. & Car, J. (2019) Digital phenotyping for assessment and prediction of mental health outcomes: a scoping review protocol. BMJ Open. 9(12):e032255. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-032255.