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actuarial procedures
Methods whereby data about subjects are analyzed by objective procedures or formulas rather than by human judgments.
acute
Short in duration.
aphasia
Loss or impairment of ability to communicate and understand language symbols- involving loss of power of expression by speech, writing, or signs, or loss of ability to comprehend written or spoken language- resulting from brain injury or disease.
Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS)
Objective method of rating clinical symptoms that provides scores on 18 variables.
chronic
Long in duration.
clinical diagnosis
The process through which a clinician arrives at a general "summary classification" of the patient's symptoms by following a clearly defined system such as DSM-IV-TR or ICD-10.
comorbidity
Occurrence of two or more identified disorders in the same psychologically disordered individual.
computerized axial tomography (CAT scan)
Radiological technique used to locate and assess the extent of organic damage to the brain without surgery.
cultural competence
Refers to a psychologist's need to be informed of the issues involved in mulitcultural assessment.
dysrhythmia
Abnormal brain wave pattern.
electroencephalogram (EEG)
Graphical record of the brain's electrical activity, obtained by placing electrode on the scalp and measuring the brain wave impulses from various brain areas.
episodic
Term used to describe a disorder that tends to abate  and recur.
functional MRI (fMRI)
Internal scanning technique that measures changes in local oxygenation (blood flow) to specific area of brain tissue that in turn depend on neural activity in those specific regions, allowing the mapping of psychological activity such as sensations, images, and thoughts.
intelligence test
Test used in establishing a subject's level of intellectual capability.
magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
Internal scanning technique involving measurement of variation in magnetic fields that allows visualization of the anatomical features of internal organs, including the central nervous system and particularly the brain.
mild
Disorder low in severity.
Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)
Widely used and empirically validated personality scales.
moderate
Disorder intermediate in severity.
neuropsychological assessment
Use of psychological tests that measure a person's cognitive, perceptual, and motor performance to obtain clues to the extent and locus of brain damage.
objective personality tests
Structured personality tests, such as questionnairres, self-inventories, or rating scales, used in psychological assessment.
positron emission tests (PET scan)
Scanning techniques that measures metabolic processes to appraise how well an organ is functioning.
presenting problem
Major symptoms and behavior the client is experiencing.
projective personality tests
Techniques that use various ambiguous stimuli that a subject is encouraged to interpret and from which the subject's personality characteristic can be analyzed.
psychological assessment
Procedure where clinicians, using psychological test, observations, and interviews, develop a summary of a clients symptoms and problems.
rating scales
Formal structure for organizing information obtained from clinical observation and self-reports to encourage reliability and objectivity.
recurrent
Term used to describe a disorder pattern that tends to come and go.
reliability
Degree to which a measuring device produces the same result each time it is used to measure the same thing, or when two or more different raters use it.
role-playing
Form of assessment in which a person is instructed to play a part, enabling a clinician to observe a client's behavior directly.
Rorschach Inkblot Test
Use of ten inkblot picture to which a subject responds with associations that come to mind. Analysis of these responses enables a clinician to infer personality characteristics.
self-monitoring
Observing and recording one's own behavior, thoughts, and feelings as they occur in various natural settings.
sentence completion test
Projective technique utilizing incomplete sentences that a person is to complete, analysis of which enables a clinician to infer personality dynamics.
severe
Disorder with a high degree of seriousness.
signs
Objective observations that suggest to a diagnostician a patient's physical or mental disorder.
structured assessment interview
Interview with set introduction and follows a predetermined set of procedures and questions throughout.
symptoms
Patient's subjective description of a physical or mental disorder.
Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)
Use of a series of simple pictures about which a subject is instructed to make up stories. Analysis of the stories gives a clinician clues about the person's conflict's, traits, personality dynamics, and the like.
unstructured interviews
Typically subjective interview that do not follow a predetermined set of questions.
validity
Extent to which a measuring instrument actually measures what it purports to measure.
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