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Abnormal Psychology - Case Study

This patients history leads you to believe that some sort of brain injury has occurred, You believe that a preselected battery of standard tests is the most beneficial. What test battery would you use? What are its component parts and what are its limitations?

Tim, a 21 Year old man, has just been admitted to the hospital. He had been found wandering the streets, talking to himself. It looks as if he has been homeless for some time. You are called in to do a clinical observation. What would you include in you observation of Tim?

You are seeing a new patient who has been referred to you by his primary care doctor. Ben, a 29 year old truck driver, went to his doctor thinking he was having a heart attack. When he drove across bridges, his heart would pound, his hands got sweaty, he would feel short of breath, and begin to hyperventilate. Several months ago Ben was involved in an accident that left three people dead and several injured. The symptoms began shortly after the accident and have lasted six months, His primary care doctor reports that Ben is not having any heart problems and is generally in good health.

As Ben's psychologist, what type of interview would you conduct? What diagnosis would you give him on AXIS I, II, and III and why?

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Please see the response attached. I hope this helps and take care.

Abnormal Psychology

1. This patient’s history leads you to believe that some sort of brain injury has occurred, You believe that a preselected battery of standard tests is the most beneficial. What test battery would you use? What are its component parts and what are its limitations?

a. Neuropsychological tests – which attempt to measure deficits in cognitive functioning (i.e., your ability to think, speak, reason, etc.) that may result from some sort of brain damage, such as a stroke or a brain injury. http://www.guidetopsychology.com/testing.htm

b. Axis V: Global Assessment of Functioning Scale.

Example 1: Halstead-Reitan Neuropsychological Test Battery

The Halstead-Reitan Neuropsychological Test Battery (HRNB) was developed to predict the presence of brain damage while offering a comprehensive view of a patient’s individual functions. The purpose of this battery is to provide the clinician with a database for inferring the nature, location, and extent of the structural changes in the brain that may underlie and explain the pattern of intact and impaired functions derived from the measures and qualitative information yielded by the battery. The present battery consists of 10 tests, which have been shown empirically to best discriminate between normal patients and patients with documented cortical damage. The authors offer convincing data favoring clearer brain damage localization with the HRNB for acute lesions rather than more chronic neuropathology.

Scoring: The battery includes tests purported to measure elements of memory, abstract thought, language, sensory-motor integration, imperceptions, and motor dexterity.

What specific tests would you choose, if you decided to use this battery or a similar one mentioned in your course material? They all seem important though. What do you think?

See limitations at http://www.cps.nova.edu/~cpphelp/HRNTB.html the main one seems to be that it has not reported reliability.

Let’s look at some of the general benefits and limitations of psychological tests, that are common to most:

Example 2: Benefits: Psychological tests in general

Psychological tests have several advantages, all of which are interconnected:

It’s easier to get information from tests than by clinical interview. Most people won’t talk about this, but, believe it or not, many psychologists are rather inept at dealing with people, and so it’s a great relief to them to be able to administer a test rather than conduct a competent interview. Thankfully, such psychologists tend to specialize in testing (or research, or teaching) rather than psychotherapy. Think about this if ever you find yourself sitting in front of a steely-eyed psychologist while being given a battery of psychological tests.

The information from tests is more scientifically consistent than the information from a clinical interview. If a psychologist is simply trying to arrive at a diagnosis to help determine the course of psychotherapy, an interview is just fine. But when decisions ...

Solution Summary

Referring to the scenario, as Ben's psychologist, this solution responds to the following questions: What type of interview would you conduct? What diagnosis would you give him on AXIS I, II, and III and why? What test battery would you use? What are its component parts and what are its limitations?

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