English summaries

English Summaries (05/2015)

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Sari Jämsä, Liisa Klenberg, Pekka Lahti-Nuuttila & Laura Hokkanen

Teacher-completed ratings of symptoms in the diagnostic evaluation of ADHD

The diagnostic evaluation of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and adolescents requires multiple informant reports of behavioral symptoms. Reliable and valid rating scales are required when collecting information from school settings. This study examines the scores, reliability and discriminant validity of the school version of the ADHD Rating Scale IV (ADHD RS-IV) in a Finnish sample. The normative group (n = 694) consisted of school children aged 7–15 and the clinical group (n = 219) of ADHD-diagnosed children of the same age range. Boys had higher scores than girls in both groups. Further, learning disabilities and low maternal educational level were connected to higher scores. The internal consistency of the total scale and its subscales was good. The teachers’ ratings were sensitive in differentiating the normative group from the ADHD group and accurate in differentiating the subgroup of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder combined type (ADHD-C) from the predominantly inattentive type (ADHD-I). The results show that the school version of ADHD RS-IV could be used as part of the diagnostic evaluation of ADHD in children and adolescents in Finland.

Keywords: ADHD, rating scale, ADHD RS-IV school version, teacher ratings, school-age children, diagnostic evaluation

Taija Nortunen, Taina Nybo & † Veijo Pulliainen

The Finnish Informant Questionnaire (FIQ) is a valid screening tool for Alzheimer’s disease

The aim of this study is to determine the clinical utility of the Finnish Informant Questionnaire (FIQ) for screening Alzheimer’s disease. In the study 79 patients were assessed at a memory clinic, 25 patients with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), 35 patients with some other memory disease or mild cognitive impairment and 19 patients with subjective memory impairment without memory disease (SMI). The control group consisted of 34 healthy older adults. A collateral source rated the possible changes in the subject’s memory by completing the FIQ. The subjects were assessed with the Consortium to Establish a Registry for Alzheimer’s Disease (CERAD) neuropsychological battery investigation as a part of a neuropsychological assessment. The memory ratings of the informants were significantly associated with the cognitive performance of the patients. The diagnostic accuracy of the questionnaire was studied with the Receiver-Operating Characteristic (ROC) analysis and the Area Under the Curve (AUC). The FIQ significantly differentiated the Alzheimer patients from controls and the total memory score of the questionnaire was the best predictor. The questionnaire also differentiated AD from SMI well, but the predictive accuracy between AD and other memory diseases was poor. This study indicates that the FIQ is a valid screening tool for Alzheimer’s disease.

Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease, screening, memory, informant, questionnaire

Pauliina Isoaho, Samuli Kangaslampi & Kirsi Peltonen

The effect of Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET) on cognitive processes and mental health: A case study

It is estimated that most people experience at least one potentially traumatic event during their lifetime. People exposed to multiple traumatic events (referred to as complex trauma) are more susceptible to various mental disorders such as depression, anxiety disorders and posttraumatic stress disorder. According to prevalent trauma theories, a traumatic event leads to mental disorders through the distortion of cognitive processes. An intervention by the name of Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET) has been developed to treat people exposed to complex trauma. NET aims to improve the quality of trauma memories and restore autobiographical memory function. The purpose of this case study was to examine, first, the mental health symptoms, the quality of trauma memories, the trauma cognitions and the autobiographical memory of an adolescent exposed to complex trauma, and, second, the effect of NET on the aforementioned variables. Before the intervention, the examinee suffered from posttraumatic stress disorder, fragmented trauma memories, distorted trauma cognitions and weakness of autobiographical memory, as well as from other mental health symptoms as reported by her parent. During and after the intervention there was a decrease in mental health symptoms as reported by both the examinee and her parent and a change for the better in trauma memories, cognitions and autobiographical memory. The results seemed to be in concordance with current trauma models.

Keywords:mental health, Narrative Exposure Therapy, posttraumatic stress disorder, trauma cognitions, trauma memories