Assessments and tools to aid in diagnosis

Leading edge services

 

Family Talks Clinic goal is to be at the leading edge when it comes to providing services to aid in the diagnosis and ongoing treatment of mental health in children and adolescents. We understand the need to encompass the full spectrum of tools available from laboratories, to clinical trials, to science-based technology. As such we provide a range of services from around the world, some of which are unique to Family Talks Clinic in Australia.

Interactive online cognitive assessment

Cambridge Brain Sciences Cognitive Assessment

CBS is an online program consisting of fun, interactive games designed to measure how your mind works.

Mental health and mood disorders are intrinsically linked to areas of cognitive function that are key to your quality of life. As part of our standard practices at Family Talks Clinic, we use a scientifically validated and objective cognitive assessment service called Cambridge Brain Sciences to measure and monitor core aspects of cognition, such as memory, reasoning, verbal ability, and concentration. Taking an assessment is simple, fun, and engaging for patients.

The assessment involves a series of series of quick cognitive tasks that have been validated to measure your memory, concentration, reasoning, and verbal abilities—all core areas of cognition that may be affected by a mental health condition. Tasks are short (1.5 – 3 mins each) and gamified and include engaging tutorials that you can replay as many times as you wish to ensure you’ve understood the instructions.

Click here to trial on how it works.

Upon completion, a comprehensive report is created for your domain and age group.  Over time, and as you progress through treatment, you’ll begin to see performance trends so that you can objectively evaluate how treatment is affecting you. Your doctor will use this information to ensure they target the right areas during treatment, and then re-assess periodically to measure progress.

Why should I you do this?

  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of your brain health, which will be used by healthcare providers to individualize treatment plans according to your needs.
  • Re-assess your cognition throughout treatment to objectively measure improvements, giving you confidence that interventions are having the desired effects.

Neuro-psychometric assessment

Conners 3 Assessment

This is an assessment tool designed to measure a range of behaviours in children rom 6-18 years. It is a thorough assessment of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The scores obtained inform intervention and treatment strategies by identifying specific challenge areas to work on.

The Conners 3 typically takes 20 minutes to complete and is completed by parents, caregivers, teachers, and youth aged 8 years and above. It provides us with information across home, social, and school settings. The content scales that are assessed are:

  • Inattention
  • Hyperactivity/Impulsivity
  • Learning problems
  • Executive Functioning
  • Defiance/Aggression
  • Peer/Family Relations

The online assessment involves responding to a series of predetermined questions by allocating a rating scale between 0-3 to each question. From each assessment a report is developed to compare and analyse the results. This process then helps the doctor create a more accurate diagnosis. Once the assessments have been completed, it will take approximately 3 to 4 days to generate the report. This report will then provide a baseline to guide treatment and medication.

Conners 3
Conners Comprehensive Behaviour Rating Scale Assessment

The Conners Comprehensive Behaviour Rating Scale (CBRS) is a new, in-depth assessment designed to provide you an overview of a child’s or adolescent’s disorders and concerns. It helps psychology professionals identify each youth’s specific needs and areas that require attention and focus. The assessment features multiple content scales that assess emotional distress, aggressive behaviours, academic difficulties, hyperactivity/impulsivity, social problems, separation fears, perfectionistic and compulsive behaviours, violence potential, and physical symptoms.

The online assessment involves responding to a series of predetermined questions by allocating a rating scale between -3 to +3 to each question.

The online assessment involves a series of assessments being completed by the child, parent, and teacher.  Each assessment takes approximately 30 uninterrupted minutes to complete. From each assessment a report is developed to compare and analyse the results, this process then helps the doctor create a more accurate diagnosis. Once the assessments have been completed, it will take approximately 3 to 4 days to generate the report. This report will then provide a baseline to guide treatment and medication.

Scoring for the Conners rating scale is designed to be comprehensive, and measures many behavioural markers, including signs of:

  • hyperactivity
  • aggressive behaviour
  • potential for violence
  • compulsive behaviours
  • perfectionism
  • difficulty in class
  • extra trouble with math
  • difficulty with language
  • social issues
  • emotional distress
  • separation anxiety
  • depression
  • dyslexia
  • emotional disturbance
Autism Spectrum Rating Scale

The ASRS provides the first nationally standardized Rating Scale. This measure is designed to help identify symptoms, behaviours, and associated features of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) in children and adolescents ages 2 to 18.

The online assessments have been designed for two distinctive age groups: Ages 2-5years and 6-18 years. Parents and Teachers complete the online assessment based on their observations of specific behaviours.

From each assessment a report is developed to compare and analyse the results. Once the assessments have been completed, it will take approximately 3 to 4 days to generate the report. This report will then enable a measurement of social communication, usual behaviours, peer and adult socialisation, atypical language, and Stereotypy.

Scoring of the ASRS is designed to be comprehensive and enables the Doctor to:

 

  • Support the diagnostic process
  • Guide the development of intervention and treatment strategies
  • Monitor responses to intervention and its effectiveness
  • Behavioural Rigidity
  • Sensory Sensitivity
  • Attention/Self-Regulation (Full form for ages 2–5)
  • Attention (Full form for ages 6–18)
  • Social/Emotional Reciprocity

Genetic testing

MyDNA

Understanding your genetics and how they react to drugs is an important tool to prescribe the right medication and right dose of medication.

The key benefits of this simple test is to pre-emptively predict a patient’s response to certain medications;

 

  • Facilitate personalised prescribing.
  • Improve the chance of therapeutic success.
  • Reduce the risk of adverse effects.

The test involves taking a sample of your DNA through a mouth swab. This is then sent to the MyDNA clinic for analysis.  The results are then provided 2 weeks later.

A report is then provided to the Doctor with an interpretation of genetic results and actionable recommendations, which may include suggestions for additional clinical monitoring or adjustment of drug or dose based on international pharmacogenomic guidelines.

Family Talks Clinic is one of the few clinics in Australia to offer these service.

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