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Session 2 advantages /disadvantages of standardized assess

Advantages of having standardised assessment tools: For clients transferring to another provider or to their home enviroment I think it would be of benefit for the the recieving provider or case manager because all information would be able to be quickly identified. It would also be beneficial for staff members changing work places as they would be farmilar with the forms. If there were standardised tools that were managed by a committee made up of all stakeholders who were responsible for maintaining the curriency of the form against best practice there by showing continuous improvement and possibly more continuity of care for the client and better outcomes for the client.

Disadvantages:If it was the reponsibility of a committee to manage the tools the members may not agree on what format and content they might take - therefore causing conflict. The assessment tools may not be appropriate or capture the type of information that is required for different organisations.
Margaret-Rose Donnelly

Standardised assessment tools are useful in establishing baseline observations of a patient and tailoring immediate care requirements,but perhaps their most obvious disadvantage is their total reliance on subjective and objective data collection as a means to formulate a particular care plan.Often the results of these assessments are skewed by clinicians' inexperience or personal bias and therefore are not necessarily  accurate.On the whole they tend to provide a valuable& reliable measurement of a patients mental health if used correctly and updated regulary.

Wouldn't it be nice to just simply categorize people and file them away into a slot.  How easy our jobs would be if everyone would conform, like filing away into a complex library.

We all know that this just could not happen as our loves, dreams, past experiences and interpretations of life are wide and varied and no-one else has trodded on our life path thus causing OH NO!!!!

The standardized tools for assessing the mental health of older clients


* All tools, whether it be th SCOT TOOL KIT, K10,DAS21,or the MMSE will provide a simple baseline for the client.

*Sitting with a client to assess provides an opportunity for the client to express needs, thoughts and worries and it may sort out the 3 D's Delirium, Dementia or Depression.

*Provides a useful baseline for health professionals if the client has been shuffled around in the system, good indicative information to the unit that receives them.

*Provides the health care team data required to set up a Care Plan for the client to set them on the road to recovery.


*Who is conducting the assessment? Have they had proper training in attending to an assessment, especially in mental health?

*Are the answers from the client objective, subjective or judgemental?

*How do you attend an assessment with someone who cannot string a sentence together, once agin put in the too hard basket?

*Will the client be diagnosed by this one assessment and put into that slot?  What if it's wrong?

*How can assessments be made if a diagnosis is not present?  Thought Disorder, Mood disorder, Behavioural Disorder or a Mixed disorder.

* Is it temporary, episodic or chronic.

I could go on and on but if we can continue with these current tools, finding the needs to change and better them, continue to educate ourselves and others to use them beneficially then we can only do our best.  We must always remember to be the advocate for our client.

Cheers Kylee

Advantages and disadvantages of standardised assess

Hi everyone,
Advantages of standardised assessments are that they are quickly and easily identified and interpreted, that they provide a baseline for health professionals from that applies to all or most areas of healthcare and can identify immediate needs
The disadvantages are numerous. There is always a danger that the assessment will be seen as an 'end result' rather than a small part of a larger and more holistic diagnostic process. In case of dementia or suspected dementia, many questions arise concerning the actual assessment process. These include, has the person performing the assessment established a rapport with the patient, is the patient comfortable and pain free, is the patient in their own or a familiar environment, is the person performing the assessment skilled in the particular area, does the patient have everything in place necessary for them to have as positive an outcome as possible eg. sensory aids, (are glasses clean, usually they are not, are hearing aid batteries patent)is this a stand alone assessment, who will be interpreting it, does the assessor have an accent that the person may find difficult to understand, is this assessment suitable culturally, is the assessment PROCESS suitable culturally, are the results subjective. You really could go on forever, and I suppose my hope would be that while standardised testing is used,as an indicator of certain issues, a holistic approach is also use to direct the remainder of the assessment process and outcomes
Bernie (wow you get pretty passionate talking about this stuff, don't you!)

Session 2 advantages /disadvantages of standardized assess

I think that Margaret-Rose has pretty much nailed it.

The main advantage (with using ‘standardised assessment tools’) is that they assist in the accurate communication of relevant clinical information between people within a particular discipline, or from different disciplines, or employed in different services. The development and use of such tools has helped to define and differentiate the functions performed by different disciplines, and has been a factor in determining whether a ‘Discipline’ can refer to itself as a ‘Profession’, or not.

The main disadvantage is that although the tools themselves (e.g. HoNOS) can be standardised, other variables related to the collection, collation and interpretation of information often can not be controlled, or standardised. Even if training in using such tools follows a standard format (as does the HoNOS training), the personal life experiences of individual clinicians may still influence how they interpret their observations, and hence how they ‘score’ a particular field.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Standardised Assessment Tool

On of the advantages of standardised forms is that it is used across the
board so everyone knows how to use them and they are convenient.

Upon talking to one of our AUMs one of the main disadvantage of standardised forms such as the MMSE is that seasoned clients know the tool back to front so if a newer staff member performs a MMSE then the result will be tainted per se.
Numerous admissions, clients remember the 3 key words and the sequence for counting back from 100 by 7 so they know this by rote. At least an experienced member of staff will change key words not to confuse the client but to get an accurate score at least for the MMSE.

Cheers Maz
Bianca Hinrichs

Standardised assessments should have a high degree of validity and reliability. The user should be confident that if administered properly and according to instructions, it assesses what it sets out to assess and has inter and intra rater reliability. The instructions and scoring procedures are  clearly set out and predetermined to guide the assessor. Standardised assessments allow for global comparisons between populations, as well as individual comparisons over time, ie baseline scores compared to scores throughout and after treatment. Standardised assessment scores can be an effective means for clinicians to share information on a clients functioning and monitor outcomes.

They may not allow for a flexible approach to questioning, which could result in the client not fully understanding the question, and the clinician not being able to provide clarification. Other factors which could affect the results of an assessment such as education, language, environment may not be taken into consideration when results are used.

I agree with the other posts that standardised assessments are an important source of information, but should not be the only method used to gather information. Informal approaches of questioning, observation, family reports also provide invaluable information, and should be used in conjunction with the more formalised standard assessments.

standardised assessment tool - advantages & disadvantage


As mentioned by everyone that it is a useful tool to assess the person's mental condition eg the HONOS. It also gives people a brief idea what the person is like at a certain time so that people can make a comparison whether the person has improved or deteriorated. It works well as a reference point.

The disadvantage:

Is that the scoring is subjective both to the scorer and to the scored. The reliability depends on the experience & skill of the scorer as well as the subject.

Standardised assessment tools used in older persons MH

So who has found themselves generous when using these tools with our elders?  So many variables for this group of individuals-as mentioned- physical health, sensory deficits, language, culture, belief systems and religion, literacy levels..........Sure, all these tools will have their pluses and minuses but assume are used to maintain a standard (level playing field?) and provide a starting point for everyone to continually gauge the effectiveness of therapeutic supplementations.  Even the disadvantages (eg. subjective,skewed info) could be turned to an advantage- for example: a person may benefit from the use of cholinesterase inhibiting medications that are regulated by the PBS and reliant on MMSE results.  I guess at the end of the day these really are just one tool in a very large toolbox and if that tool should be missing we would soon learn to work with what we have at hand.

Standardised assessment tools have their place. As noted by others throughout this discussion, a standardized assessment tool can provide the opportunity for an important baseline measure of a client’s level of function at a given time.  Along with a range of other formal and informal assessments, this then can assist with being able to offer the best individual treatments and supports to a client, and to be able to monitor the effectiveness of such supports against the same measures in an ongoing way. They also offer a means of communicating this information in a way that is meaningful to other professionals.
I can also recognize some of the concerns or disadvantages around the use of such standardized tools. As noted throughout this discussion, these may include problems around the unintentional bias of the tester, the conditions that the testing may be given in  and the fact that any test itself (eg the MMSE) may be biased for age, education, and cultural and socioeconomic background.
These disadvantages become more significant if the results of any standardized assessment tool are over emphasized, or if they are relied upon solely.
I agree with the notion that these tools can be a valuable part of any assessment, but a more holistic approach – using information from a range of sources and observations – would be more useful and more accurate Forum Index -> Session Two
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