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Psychology | Assessing Impairment - From Theory to Practice

Assessing Impairment

From Theory to Practice

Goldstein, Sam, Naglieri, Jack A. (Eds.)

2009, XX, 164p.

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  • First comprehensive volume of its type on impairment
  • A must-have companion volume to the lead editors’ Impairment Rating Scale
  • Presents theory that is tied to scientific research and represents an important shift in the conceptualization of impairment in making diagnoses and designing treatment
  • Edited by leading scholarly clinicians in this field

Impairment and disability are widely used terms, yet considerable disagreement exists as to their relationship—especially when impairment means different things to different professionals in the fields of mental health, medicine, and education. Although diagnostic criteria for various disorders are clearly detailed in the DSM-IV and elsewhere, criteria for impairment remain elusive. And patients with severe limitations but minimal symptoms, or the reverse, further complicate the discussion.

The first in-depth treatment of the theory, definition, and evaluation of this core concept, Assessing Impairment: From Theory to Practice cuts through the confusion and cross-talk. Leading scholars and clinicians offer a robust evidence base for a much-needed reconceptualization of impairment within the context of diagnosis and disability, arguing for a wide-ranging quality-of-life perspective. This contextual approach to assessment goes beyond mere symptom counting, resulting in more accurate diagnosis, targeted interventions, and improved patient functioning.

Within this concise but comprehensive volume, coverage focuses on key areas including:

  • Current conceptualizations from the DSM-IV and other medical models.
  • Methodologies for measuring symptom severity and impairment.
  • Social/behavioral issues, such as resilience, adaptive behaviors, and family environment.
  • Developmental issues across the life span.
  • Legal and ethical questions and civil rights issues.
  • Impairment and disability as they relate to trauma.

The interdisciplinary model proposed in Assessing Impairment gives clinicians vital tools for working with the unique limitations and strengths of every patient. Child, school, and educational psychologists will find it particularly useful, given the critical importance of early detection and the complexity of young people’s lives.

Content Level » Professional/practitioner

Keywords » Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 - Assessment - DSM - Diagnostic and Statistical Manual - Evaluation - Impairment - Impairment Rating Scale - Intervention - Measurement - Rehabilitation Act of 1973 - Trauma - diagnosis

Related subjects » Child & School Psychology - Education & Language - Psychology

Table of contents 

Defining the Evolving Concept of Impairment.- Measurement of Symptom Severity and Impairment.- The Role of Family and Situational Problems in Understanding and Reducing Impairment.- Relationships Between Adaptive Behavior and Impairment.- Psychometric Issues in the Assessment of Impairment.- The Medical Model of Impairment.- The DSM Model of Impairment.- Measuring Impairment in a Legal Context: Practical Considerations in the Evaluation of Psychiatric and Learning Disabilities.- Impairment in Children.- Impairment in the Geriatric Population.- Assessing Occupational Disability Following Trauma and Impairment.- Conclusion.

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