Journal of Rehabilitation Research & Development (JRRD)

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Volume 49 Number 1, 2012
   Pages 121 — 138

Abstract — Mental health assessment in rehabilitation research

John R. McQuaid, PhD;1–2* Brian P. Marx, PhD;3–4 Marc I. Rosen, MD;5–6 Lynn F. Bufka, PhD;7 Wendy Tenhula, PhD;8 Helene Cook, MA;9 Terence M. Keane, PhD3–4
1San Francisco Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center, San Francisco, CA; 2University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA; 3National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, MA; 4Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, MA; 5VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, CT; 6Yale School of Medicine, New Haven, CT; 7American Psychological Association, Washington, DC; 8VA Office of Mental Health ??Services, Washington, DC; 9Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

Abstract–Assessment in mental health research has evolved from focusing on symptoms and diagnosis to addressing a broad range of change, including psychosocial functioning. This is consistent with developments in the areas of psychosocial rehabilitation and the increase in recovery-oriented intervention models for mental disorders. We reviewed the status of assessment in mental health research, providing an overview of symptom and diagnostic assessment that is the cornerstone of most mental health research assessment. We then focused on measurement that can be applied across diagnostic groups and on functioning as a key mental health outcome. We reviewed the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health and its implications for improvements in assessment. We provided an example of a new assessment, the Inventory of Psychosocial Functioning, which highlights key issues in the measurement of functioning. We then addressed improving research assessment, including issues of assessment in diverse populations and the need to capitalize on new data sources and new assessment technologies to advance assessment in mental health research. Finally, we reviewed and discussed areas for research and quality improvement, drawing on examples from the Department of Veterans Affairs to illustrate potential opportunities.

Key words: assessment; computer-aided assessment; Department of Veterans Affairs; diagnosis; functioning; International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health; Inventory of Psychosocial Functioning; mental health; recovery; rehabilitation; research.

View HTML  ¦  View PDF  ¦  Contents Vol. 49, No. 1
This article and any supplementary material should be cited as follows:
McQuaid JR, Marx BP, Rosen MI, Bufka LF, Tenhula W, Cook H, Keane TM. Mental health assessment in rehabilitation research. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2012;49(1):121–38.

American Psychological Association. Procedural manual and guide for a standardized application of the ICF: A manual for health professionals sample and prototype. Unpublished manuscript. Washington (DC); 2003.

Last Reviewed or Updated  Wednesday, February 15, 2012 2:26 PM

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