Assessment and decision making regarding depresion in dementia - Assignment Example

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Assessment and Decision Making Regarding Depression in Dementia By [Name of Student] [Name of Institution] [Date] Introduction Dementia is a psychological condition characterized by losses or degradation in one’s cognitive abilities. It is however important to note that dementia patients in most cases do not have prior records of cognitive impairments except in aged and aging patients (Lamont, 2004)…
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Download file to see previous pages Among the signs and symptoms of dementia are despaired cognitive capabilities in memory, language, depression and poor problem-solving attention (Wang et al., 2007). The depressive nature of dementia makes it a rather delicate condition, requiring medical practitioners such as psychotherapists and physicians to make certain critical decisions regarding its management and treatment (Weiner et al., 2007). Consequently, guidelines for the evaluation of and decision-making on depression in dementia patients have since been developed. It is the prevalence, the depressive nature of dementia and its increased importance as a psychological concern in the health industry that has prompted stakeholders in psychology to establish certain guidelines for dementia evaluation and decision-making by psychotherapists (Hasegawa et al., 2005). An important aspect of these guidelines is that they conform to the ethical principles and codes of conduct most of the world’s psychological professions and associations such as the American Psychological Association. Decision-making by health care professionals while attending to depressed dementia patients is one of the core areas targeted by the guidelines. In this regard, professional conduct and endeavors by psychotherapists while making decisions on dementia treatment have been emphasized in most of the guidelines (McKellar & Gauthier, 2005). These guidelines on decision-making and engagement with dementia patients are particularly important given the role psychotherapists play in evaluating the memory changes and complaints that are characteristic of dementia (Stanley, 2008). However, the fact that most of the reduced cognitive performances occur in older people does not imply that the performance lapses are more pathological than they are physiological (Fago 2011). Instead, the decreased cognitive performances are directly proportional to the decrease in older peoples’ physiological functions (Wakisaka et al., 2003). Fortunately, psychologists are trained and equipped with skills in decision-making on dementia, supported by specialized neuropsychological tests that evaluate lapses and changes in dementia patients’ cognitive functioning (Barker, 2003). The main objective of the decision-making guidelines, however, remains the identification and specification of the most appropriate cautions, concerns and course of action for all clinicians. While engaging in decision-making on dementia treatment, psychotherapists are also advised to employ their expertise, uphold ethical values and consider patient choices and frames of mind/thought (Anthea & McCabe, 2006). In addition, various decision-making approaches such as categorical and probabilistic reasoning should be applied by psychotherapists when handling dementia patients. This paper thus explores the expertise, values, choices, probabilistic judgment and ethical engagement in decision-making for caring for depressed dementia patients. Decision-Making in Dementia Management Recent times have realized the replacement of the hitherto applied traditional approach of basing all medical decision-making processes on professional paternalism with more viable decision-making methods (Monahan, 2000). In the contemporary medical profession, most decisions made regarding the management of depression in dementia patie ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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