Addictions Assessment Tools Vs Clinical Assessment Tools Use

Assessment Tools

            An effective assessment substance abuse disorder can determine the success or failure of a medical intervention that is designed for a client. Moreover, making an effective assessment is important in determining the need and the type of adjunctive services for a client (Samet, Waxman, Hatzenbuehler, &Hasin, 2007). During the process of client assessment for a particular disorder, an assessment professional often uses assessment instruments in order to perform an effective disorder assessment. Among the assessment tools are the clinical and addiction assessment tools.

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The clinical assessment tools and the addiction assessment tools differ in a number of ways. First, the clinical assessment tools are used for assessment of substance abuse disorders, which typically involve structured interviews and written questionnaires. After the assessment, the clinician can determine the best intervention for a particular patient disorder. Although the addiction assessment tools employ interviews in a addiction assessment, the tools provides a rating mechanism from which a clinician can use to classify the addiction levels of the patient based on a chosen scale, for example the Diagnostic Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-IV). Moreover, the clinical assessment tools provide an analysis of the client disorder, while neglecting the impact of the disorder on the patient life. For example, in the analysis for a patient with addiction for a substance, the use of addiction assessment tools may reveal the impact of addiction on job and family relationships.

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The other ways in which the addiction assessment and disorder assessment tools differ is the length of administration. The addiction assessment tools have specific duration from which they are administered, whereas clinical assessment does not have specific administration duration. For example, a clinical disorder management may vary depending on the structure of the interview and the questionnaire. Although the addiction assessment process may vary when structured or semi-structured interviews are employed, the tools have average administration time, for example, Addiction Severity Index (ASI) takes on average 10-80 minutes inclusive of assessment and scoring (Samet, Waxman, Hatzenbuehler, &Hasin, 2007).

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Finally, the clinical assessment tools provide the clients with an opportunity where the assessment tool may modified to allow the clinician to seek more information on client response. For example, a clinician may ask the client further questions in order to clarify a certain response in order to gain more information about the disorder. Although the semi-structured interviews in addiction assessment tools provide room for clinician assessing the client, this is often a preserve for the experienced clinicians. The assessment tools employ scoring index and place more emphasis on the validity and reliability of the tests, which offers little room for the adjustment of the assessment process.

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