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Schizophrenia Assessment Tools Abstract Mental illnesses are one of the strongest causes of the decline of a community’s economic, political, and social stamina. Today, there have been a lot of mental illnesses that has been reported to have affected 300,000 Canadians which includes depression, obsessive compulsive tendencies, anxiety, bulimia, anorexia, and schizophrenia, the latter, being the most common case in the country…
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Download file to see previous pages... However, there have been a lot of assessment tools that have been developed to correctly evaluate whether a person shows signs of schizophrenic behavior and/or tell the severity of each case. Some of the most commonly used are Abnormal Involuntary Movement Scale (AIMS), Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS), and Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS). Introduction Schizophrenia is a chronic mental disorder that is mainly caused by unsound function of the brain. A lot of psychologists point to past experiences, frustration, or a tragic loss of a loved one as factors that impact one’s mental health that leads to this debilitating disorder. However, as each case of schizophrenia is always unique, where each patient’s history should be clearly studied before coming to a conclusion of someone’s diagnosis to this disorder, it is important to understand effective assessment tools used to reach to a comprehensible judgment. Common Symptoms of Schizophrenia There are common symptoms of schizophrenia that somewhat signals the need to talk to a psychologist or to get help. Some of which would be hearing voices that no one could hear, assumptions of people talking about them or laughing at them, extensive control over their thoughts and imaginations, and the inability to control emotions (The Role of the Diagnostic Statistic Manual IV (DSM-IV) in Diagnosing Mental Disorders, n.d.). Diagnosing Schizophrenia There are several factors to consider in diagnosing schizophrenia. Aside from looking at mental behavior, how they react to their environment for which a candidate for schizophrenia surrounds themselves with is a factor to consider. This would include the change in their work, school, interpersonal relations, and or ability for self-care is important. This is because of the fact that an abrupt change to their routine without anything triggering a behavior is a strong sign of which. Another important basis for diagnosis would be the duration for which these abnormalities have been felt without the influence of substance use and/or an underlying medical condition. Persistence of which for at least six months is a clear supposition of the disorder and not just a result of perhaps a mid-life crisis or coping with a major happening in one’s life (Schizophrenia Society of Canada, n.d.). Assessment Tool in the Diagnosis of Schizophrenia Unfortunately, all these symptoms are not a guaranteed basis for a correct diagnosis of schizophrenia. Also, since there is no single course of treatment yet for this, assessment tools, one of which is the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) is one that will help provide a more customized and effective diagnosis and treatment. The Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) is a standard rating scale used to weigh the positive symptoms of a patient that manifests schizophrenic tendencies as opposed to the symptoms that point to the absence of these traits. It is a 30-item scale, assessed on a seven-point scale that points one from poor to extreme case of the disorder. This assessment technique was developed solely for diagnosing the syndromes of schizophrenia in all unique cases that ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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