Importance of Multi-disorder Assessment Tools
The Mind Screen has been developed to facilitate early intervention and solve the biggest problem faced by your practitioner today - a lack of quality time.
The way practitioners are reimbursed and incentivised today means most behavioral health assessments are squeezed into a short consultation resulting in most practitioners using basic single disorder assessment tools that are completely unsuited for conducting a thorough behavioral health assessment. Using single disorder assessment tools means rushed practitioners make clinical diagnoses based on limited and incomplete information. It is vital that this important assessment step in early intervention is thorough and comprehensive. Your practitioner might get your diagnosis right with a single disorder assessment tool, but the risk of getting it wrong is far greater with a single disorder assessment tool. Why take that chance.
When it comes to a physical health assessment your practitioner will direct their enquiry in a comprehensive way reviewing your symptoms to see if your condition is cardiovascular, endocrine, respiratory, etc and they will also ask questions about your past and family history and medication history. This is then supplemented by relevant investigations such as blood tests, x-rays etc. Mental health should not be done any differently.
The problem with using single disorder assessment tools is that by definition they do no more than confirm (often incorrectly) your practitioner’s preconception about what they think the issue may be. This is like your practitioner referring you to pathology to run a single blood test to confirm their view of one possible condition. That would be unheard of. When you are sent to pathology you usually have blood drawn to conduct multiple tests to confirm or rule out particular diagnoses. Mental health should not be done any differently.
Most people with a behavioral health condition present with multiple co-morbid behavioral health conditions so a multi-disorder assessment tool should be considered a ‘requirement’ in increasing the chances of arriving at an accurate clinical diagnosis. The behavioral health profession is moving in this direction (see Kupfer et al, Cerebrum Magazine, October 13 2009, Dana Foundation) and so you should insist that your practitioner use an assessment tool like the Mind Screen.
In 1998, only 38% of people in Australia with a treatable behavioral health condition were receiving treatment. More than 10 years on, and hundreds of millions of dollars poured into two major Australian Government Funded behavioral health initiatives later, even fewer Australians (35%) who need it are receiving treatment. Why, because we're not fixing the systemic problem of poor assessment. The Mind Screen has the potential to improve the quality of assessment nationwide. According to Harvard Medical School, the Mind Screen is “…the only multi-disorder clinical psychiatric online self-assessment tool developed specifically for family physicians and psychologists that is available today. Its innovative process is a paradigm shift in the way behavioral health issues are assessed and will significantly improve the quality of diagnosis, treatment and patient management by primary care practitioners. …if implemented widely, Mind Screen can ... provide a global gold standard in early detection and intervention for behavioral health difficulties.”
The problem noted is leading to large numbers of patients not being assessed properly, diagnosed accurately, treated appropriately and managed effectively. You can help your practitioner provide a timely and accurate assessment by completing a Mind Screen and providing him or her with the basis for a more effective differential diagnosis.
To get your Mind Screen assessment process underway click 'Get Started’ .