Ways in which the psychprofiler can improve assessment and intervention:
The psychprofiler has successfully addressed many of the shortcomings of existing instruments,
and as such, has subsequently led to an improvement in the accurate identification and treatment of disorders in children, adolescents, and adults. Specific ways in which the psychprofiler proves to be particularly useful include:
- Increased Early Identification and InterventionAn accessible and affordable screening assessment can improve the early identification of disorders which is crucial in the prevention of the development of further mental health problems.
For example, disorders of depression have been shown to predispose an individual to a variety of other disorders (e.g., anxiety disorders, and eating disorders), as well as problems in the areas of school drop-out, unemployment, drug involvement, delinquent behaviour, and criminal conviction.
- Provision of Objective and Reliable Data The psychprofiler is based on recognised diagnostic criteria (DSM-IV-TR), incorporates multiple respondents, and has been rigorously validated thus reducing the subjectivity that often plagues other instruments.
- Improved Efficiency of Clinical Interviewing The psychprofiler can optimise the efficiency of clinical interviewing and information gathering by being completed prior to the first consultation with the health professional.
If advised when making the appointment for the first consultation, the client / patient can utilise one of the available methods and have the report forwarded to the health professional prior to the first consultation.
This enables the health professional to have an accurate psychprofiler profile of the individual, and therefore, cursory validation of the results may be all that is needed rather than time consuming in-depth interviewing.
- Assistance with Differential Diagnosis ImplicationsDue to the psychprofiler containing DSM-IV-TR criteria for a large number of disorders, it can abet more accurate diagnosis practices by differentiating between disparate disorders (e.g., anxiety, depression) that share similar characteristic behaviours / symptomology (e.g., difficulty sleeping, poor attention).
- Assistance with Comorbidity Implications The psychprofiler can be used to investigate for comorbidity, which is extremely important because the majority of children and adults with a disorder have multiple disorders.
Therefore, psychprofiler can aid in the identification and intervention provision for the more covert comorbid disorders that would under normal circumstances remain unnoticed and untreated.
Despite these comorbid disorders being less overt, appropriate treatment is still necessary.
- Provision of Important Self-Report Information Unlike many of the existing instruments, the psychprofiler incorporates self-report information.
Self-report information can contribute greatly to an understanding of child and adolescent disorders, since it has been shown that the experience of children is often different to that reported by parents, teachers, and clinicians.
This is particularly so for disorders that often does not have easily observable behavioural manifestations, such as anxiety and depression.
- Improved Communication, Especially With Regards to Sensitive Issues The psychprofiler is already being successfully used by general practitioners, paediatricians, psychiatrists, psychologists and school psychologists.
These health professionals declare that completion of the psychprofiler helps open up the lines of communication with the individual, especially in relation to sensitive issues.
For example, it is often reported that individuals find it easier to indicate on a paper checklist that a traumatic incident has been experienced, rather than initiate the conversation about the incident themselves.
- Improved Identification of Disorders in Mainstream Individuals Over the past 25 years, results of a large number of studies have proven remarkably convergent in that at least 20% of the population present with one or more disorders.
Unfortunately, this research has also consistently indicated that only 16-21% of these children and adults with a disorder are identified and receive appropriate intervention.
Therefore, due to the APP and CAPP simultaneously screening for 23 disorders, and 20 disorders, respectively, they can successfully screen mainstream individuals (e.g., whole grades, whole schools, prison populations) for disorders which would normally go unidentified.
- Formulation of Behaviour Management Programmes The APP provides an excellent profile of the adult due to it providing 190 individual pieces of behavioural information (ie the number of items) from 2 separate informants (i.e., self, observer).
Similarly, the CAPP provides an excellent profile of the child due to it providing 111 individual pieces of behavioural information (ie the number of items) from 3 separate informants (i.e., child, parent, teacher).
Therefore, a behavioural management programme can be created, targeting those behaviours that have been identified as occurring more frequently than considered appropriate.
- Evaluating the Effectiveness of Intervention The effectiveness of behavioural management and/or pharmacological intervention can be easily monitored by having the informants complete the APP or CAPP before, during, and after intervention.
- Improving Accessibility to Assessment Services Due to the psychprofiler being available by post, provided as a stand-alone software application, or completed online, the psychprofiler has proven to be very important instruments in rural and remote areas.
- Improving Referral Practises Due to the psychprofiler providing a comprehensive profile of the individual, the results enable a health professional to refer to a third party (e.g., medical specialist, psychologist) whom they feel is best suited to the individual case.
For example, a health professional may prefer to refer an individual with comorbid depression and eating disorders to a different third party than if the individual presented with comorbid depression, eating disorders, and anxiety.