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UT SW 393R1 - SW 393R1 Syllabus

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THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK Course Number: SW 393R1 Instructor’s name: Kate Wambach, PhD [email protected] Unique Number: 95675 Office Number: SSW 2.228 Semester: Summer, 2001 Office Phone: 471-7287 Home: 303-0718 Meeting Time/Place: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 8:30-11:00am, SSW 2.118 Office Hours: Tuesdays & Thursdays, 11:00am-noon OR by appointment CLINICAL ASSESSMENT AND DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS I. Standardized Course Description This course will focus on the incidence, etiology, and assessment of dysfunctional behavior patterns with children, adolescents, adults, and families. Students will learn models of assessment to evaluate human functioning throughout the lifecycle, with emphasis on vulnerable and diverse populations. Major nosological systems, such as Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and the International Classification of Diseases, and other schemes for assessing and understanding human behavior, will be covered. This course is required of MSSW students in the Clinical Concentration. II. Standardized Course Objectives By the end of the semester, students should be able to: 1. Demonstrate familiarity with biological, psychosocial, and cultural theories on the etiology of dysfunctional behavior patterns; 2. Demonstrate the ability to apply multiple methods of assessment, including those developed through classificatory schemes, standardized measures, and qualitative typologies; 3. Describe the relationship between assessment and intervention in social work practice; 4. Demonstrate the ability to adapt assessment models to reflect the needs of persons of diverse social, economic, cultural or ethnic backgrounds, including understanding issues of gender, sexual orientation, and ability; - 1 -5. Critically evaluate different theoretical and assessment models as to their efficacy in given situations. This includes: a) the adequacy of the research and knowledge base; b) the range of applicability; c) the value and ethical issues, including the student’s own value system, and d) the policy implications involved in assessment and delivery of services; 6. Demonstrate an understanding of the limitations in using classification schemes in understanding human behavior and the danger of mislabeling people, particularly those from at-risk populations. III. Teaching Methods The primary teaching methods will be lectures, discussion, and group exercises. Guest lecturers, group presentations, and audio-visual presentations will also be utilized. IV. Required Texts American Psychiatric Association (APA). (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th Edition - Text Revision). Washington, DC: Author. Buelow, G., Hebert, S., & Buelow, S. (2000). Psychotherapist’s resource on psychiatric medications: Issues of treatment and referral. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole. V. Course Requirements The following course requirements will be completed during the semester, with points given for each course requirement. Grading will be based on total points accrued by the end of the course. Examinations Two examinations will be given during the course of the semester (see course schedule for due dates). All exams will consist of both a take-home and an in-class portion. Students will receive the exam questions at least one week prior to their due date. This portion may include case materials (for assigning diagnoses), short answer, and/or essay questions. Examinations must be TYPED and answers to essay questions must be presented in APA format. The in-class portions of the exams will be similar to the licensing exam questions and will give the student an opportunity to practice the necessary test-taking skills needed to pass that exam. Each exam will be worth a maximum of 100 points. 200 points maximum, examinations - 2 -Paper Each student is to select a problem area of interest and write a scholarly paper focused on assessment and treatment. A typed, well-written paper is to be submitted. The paper should be written in APA format (4th edition) and should not exceed 15 typewritten pages (excluding references and title page). A search of the literature should include journal articles as well as pertinent book chapters and monographs. Emphasis should be given to the most recent (within the past 5 to 7 years) literature and studies. Of course, seminal pieces that fall outside of this time parameter should still be included. In addition to the formal paper, students will prepare an annotated bibliography for distribution to their classmates on the final day of class [Note: the instructor may have students writing on the same or similar topics prepare a joint bibliography]. Papers will be graded on both content (60%) and writing style (20%); APA format will also be graded (20%). The paper is worth a possible 100 points. An outline of the paper is provided below. I. Introduction/Statement of the Problem. This should include specification of your problem area of interest. For example, “depression” can mean many things. You would need to clarify if, by “depression,” you meant Major Depressive Disorder, Dysthymic Disorder, etc. Also, set parameters (e.g., age, gender, etc.) on the problem you are assessing. (For example, “This paper addresses adolescent females, ages 13 to 17, with a diagnosis of Major Depressive Disorder.”) II. Critical examination of assessment methods and instruments relevant to the particular problem area. A. What are the preferred methods to assess this problem. If you were a social worker in the field, based on your review of the literature, how would you assess for the existence and severity of this problem in a client system. B. Standardized measures (e.g., rating scales and self-report instruments) 1. Description (e.g., This is a 25-item standardized self-report instrument, using a 5-point Likert scale, that measures level of depression). 2. Summary of reliability (i.e., coefficients, standard error of measurement) and validity (i.e., construct, concurrent known-instruments, known-groups, factor analysis) characteristics of each available instrument. 3. Discussion of clinical utility of assessment tools and how they are being used in assessment and treatment of clients. Identifying that a measurement tool possesses sound psychometric properties does not necessarily preclude its clinical utility. Describe which tool(s) you would use in the field and why.


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