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Online Essay Club No. 21: Assessment tools

3 posts in this topic

Starting from today, one essay question will posted each week on this forum. This will last for 8 weeks, ending two weeks before the Autumn 2002 Part II written exam. The questions will be topical and designed to encompass a wide range of knowledge. Please contribute! I'd encourage you to post complete essay plans as previous forum members have done but, if you prefer, feel free to post just one or two points that you would raise in your answer.

Standardised assessment tools are underused in clinical psychiatry. Discuss this statement with reference to the value of such tools in the management of mental disorders.

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hello there,

this is my first attempt at an essay after a very very long time.

so, to start,

i would approach this essay along these lines-


what are standardised instruments, there relevance in psychiatry.

advantages and examples of instruments

sensitivity and specifity issues

inter rater reliability and cross cultural validity

objectivity they provide in assessments which could be a serious issue in psychiatry

disadvantages in using those instruments

time consuming

training required

not essential for day to day management

you dont have time for this luxury

research and the use of instruments

why it is necessary for psychiatrists to get used to at least some of them


should use in research

should know how to use

should choose to use in some patients-the difficult and the complicated ones

not necessary in day to day clinical practice

please comment on this plan which i know is very basic

bye for now,

dr :o

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i would write initially about the basics of standardised instruments, the current ones that exist, and the current use.

i would comment on psychiatry as a speciality, the difficulties in validating things in psychiatry, compare and contrast ICD-10 AND DSM IV, the use by various professionals, i.e. doctors, CPNs, psychologists, etc.

i might make references to the use in various aspects in psychiatry, i.e. child, old age, addictions, L.D., etc.

also comment on the use internationally

hypothesise the values of these tools in psychiatry, and add in saying we can only hope it will help us practice better and help patients better

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