Clinical Assessment Instruments
Full course description
Parallel to the core courses throughout year 1, this series of skills training sessions introduces students to the range of rating scales, questionnaires, interview and observational instruments most commonly used in clinical practice and research. The first session will provide an overview of the classes of available instruments and their applications in clinical and research contexts. Later sessions will focus on instruments designed to assess specific symptoms and the severity of the disorders that are covered in the associated core course. The last sessions will focus on a subset of broader measures of personality, psychopathology and adjustment (e.g., quality of life, social adjustment or coping scales) and on the reliability and social impact of psychiatric diagnosis. Working with case materials, students will learn how to choose appropriate assessment instruments for clarifying individual diagnoses, planning interventions and monitoring their effects. These skills training sessions will provide students with basic background information and hands-on experience in the use of valid and reliable instruments for assessing psychopathology.
Students will be able to understand:
- available research and clinical instruments for assessing psychopathology;
- state and trait measures;
- retrospective measures;
- projective methods;
- evaluating validity and reliability of assessment methods;
- self-report, clinician-rated and informant-rated measures;
- ethical issues in data collection, analysis and reporting;
- sources of bias and measurement error;
- presentation and interpretation of test results in research and clinical practice;
- continuous vs. categorical measures (symptoms vs. diagnoses);
- assessing clinical change; broad vs. specific measures;
- instruments designed or adapted for special populations (e.g., children, different cultures, cognitive impairment).