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Today, as the legitimacy of various forms of therapeutic intervention is under attack, and as practitioners in all areas of the human services are increasingly held accountable for monitoring and evaluating their practices in an objective manner, a sound familiarity with objective measurement techniques has become essential. In addition, practitioners must also be concerned with satisfying state, agency, or insurance company guidelines.
Now, this updated and expanded two-volume edition of Fischer and Corcoran's standard reference enables professionals to gather this vital information easily and effectively. In Measures for Clinical Practice, Volume 1: Couples, Families and Children and Volume 2: Adults, Joel Fischer and Kevin Corcoran provide an extensive collection of over 320 "rapid assessment instruments" (RAIs), including questionnaires and scales, which assess virtually any problem commonly encountered in clinical practice. All instruments are actually reprinted in the book, and are critiqued by the authors to aid in their selection. The instruments included are brief and easy to administer and will be useful for all types of practice and all theoretical orientations.
Introducing the compendium of instruments, Fischer and Corcoran explain the principles of measurement and how to apply them in practice. They explore the range of assessment techniques available, including behavioral observations, rating scales, and client logs, as well as unobtrusive, electromechanical, and standardized measures. After examining the advantages and disadvantages of rapid assessment instruments, they show practitioners how to effectively select, administer, score, and interpret these measures as part of the treatment process.
This fully updated and expanded two-volume edition will be essential to every practitioner and student of social work, psychology, psychiatry, nursing, counseling, and the rehabilitative therapies.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Joel Fischer is a professor at the School of Social Work at the University of Hawaii.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
INTRODUCTION TO VOLUME 2
Volume 2 of this book, unlike Volume 1, consists exclusively of measures you can use in your practice. However, in the first part of Volume 1, we reviewed the role of measurement to help in monitoring your client's progress and in evaluating your effectiveness. Our discussion included an overview of the basic principles of reliable and valid measures, the principles related to using measures in practice, and issues regarding interpreting scores. We also discussed some of the different types of measures, including the advantages and disadvantages of rapid assessment instruments (RAI) which are the focus of this book. While we believe this type of measure is particularly valuable, we know that there may be times when you will want other measurement tools as well as additional rapid assessment instruments. To this end we presented information on determining what to measure within the context of practice, how to locate measures, and pertinent questions you might ask when evaluating which measure to use. Finally, we presented some guidelines for you to consider when administering instruments.
We now turn to the rationale and procedures we used to locate and select the instruments presented in both volumes. We have not included all rapid assessment instruments in existence, but we believe that the measures that are included cover most of the client problem areas commonly encountered in practice.
The primary rationale for including an instrument in these volumes was that it measures some specific client problem or treatment goal relevant to clinical practice. Thus, we excluded certain instruments that we believed just were not relevant to treatment. For example, a measure of one's personal epistemology was not included because this is not a frequently seen clinical problem.
We also excluded instruments that measure practitioner behaviors that might occur during your interventions. While there is indeed a growing concern for measuring what you do as a clinician, we believe you are more likely to want to measure particular client problems or treatment goals. This, after all, is one of the best ways to monitor practice.
We also decided to include mainly self-report instruments that can be used for rapid assessment. While numerous other types of measurement are available, as we discussed in Chapter 3 of Volume 1, we believe you are more likely to monitor your practice with those on which your client directly reports his or her perceptions, feelings, or experiences. Not only are clients often the best source of this information, but RAIs can be used in conjunction with your own clinical assessment.
In the same vein, we have included only those instruments that are relatively short. While there is no concrete agreement on how short an instrument should be in order to be used for rapid completion and scoring, we have included mainly those that are 50 items or less. There are a few, however, that are somewhat longer than 50 items; we included these because shorter measures were not available for that particular problem, because the instrument has subscales that can be used for rapid assessment, or because the instrument can be completed quickly despite its length.
Finally, most of the instruments we include have some evidence of reliability and/or validity. All have some practice utility, providing information that will help you monitor your client's progress and evaluate your effectiveness. In order to facilitate your use of these instruments to monitor practice, we have used a standardized format to critique each instrument to help you make judgments about which instruments would be best for your particular purposes. Like many measures in the behavioral and social sciences, some of those included here lack convincing reliability, validity, or other important data. This is not to imply that no data were available, just that more is needed to be thoroughly convincing. When you use one of these instruments, even one with sufficient reliability and validity data for that matter, we hope you will approach it with a judicious degree of caution and your own critique.
LOCATING THE INSTRUMENT
In order to locate measurement tools, we began with a computer literature search. Additionally, we identified key volumes and journals that pertained to measurement in practice and reviewed them for appropriate instruments. (See Volume 1, Chapter 5, Tables 5.2 and 5.3.) For the journals we identified, all volumes were reviewed from 1974, except the Journal of Clinical Psychology and the Journal of Personality Assessment, which were reviewed from 1964 through 1992. For journals that first appeared later than 1974, all volumes were reviewed.
THE FINAL SELECTION
Whenever possible, we have tried to include more than one instrument to measure a problem, not only to provide a choice, but because different instruments tap different aspects of a problem. For example, you will notice there are several measures of anxiety. One of these may be more appropriate for use with a given client than others. Finally, there are obviously more instruments available to measure certain types of problems than other types. For example, relatively few measures are available to assess children, because children tend to have more difficulty in filling out self-report instruments than adults. Thus, while we included as many self-report RAIs as we could, we also included some rating scales for children. In this and a few other areas as well, where the nature of the people or problem suggests that self-report measures may be difficult to administer, observer rating scales may be an appropriate substitute.
In this volume, we have focused solely on measures for adults where the problem does not seem primarily concerned with other family members. We recognize that categorizing measures this way -- adult measures in this volume and measures for couples, families, and children in Volume 1 -- leaves something to be desired. There is obvious overlap among many of the categories for several problems. Nevertheless, we hope this organization of the two volumes will make selection of measures for your practice as smooth as possible.
In sum, we have not included all available self-report rapid assessment instruments. For example, a few that we would have chosen to include, such as the Beck Depression Inventory (Beck et al., 1961), were not available for reproduction. However, we believe the instruments we have chosen cover most of the client problem areas commonly encountered in practice. Nevertheless, we must stress that other measures are available, and you should consider using them in conjunction with the RAIs included here. We hope the instruments presented in these two volumes will get you started, and help you develop more measurement tools for use in monitoring clients and evaluating your practice effectiveness.
Copyright © 1994 by Joel Fischer and Kevin Corcoran
Copyright © 1987 by The Free Press
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