It is essential to consider the different people who will read a report to avoid improper interpretation of the results when writing a report. The clinician should aim to make reports accessible and useful to all involved people. The report refers to the means by which a client’s history and difficulties are described, results are obtained and interpreted, and suggestions for future approaches to the difficulties are discussed.
A psychometric property refers to a portion of the report that presents only test scores and is usually given at the beginning of a report. This is often not of use for parents.
There are several pitfalls of report writing:
Clinicians should avoid using jargon, complex sentence structure and too many acronyms.
- Complex words to add length to the report.
- Esoteric language only understood by the clinician.
- Not written in lay language (e.g. excessive focus on scores).
- Vague and unclear language that cannot be falsified.
- Vague or imprecise language (i.e. psychobabble).
- Faulty interpretation
This can be the result of personal ideas (1), biases (2) and idiosyncrasies (3). It can be most readily seen when the psychologist is using the same theories or drawing the same conclusions in every report.
- Report length
The report should not be unnecessarily long.
- Number obsession
The report should not focus unnecessarily on numbers and only emphasize numbers when they contribute to the understanding of the child being evaluated. Invalid test scores should not be incorporated and test results should not be reported just because it was administered.
- Failure to address referral questions
The report should clarify and address the true referral question, although this may not always be the same as the one presented by the client.
There are several good practices for report writing:
- Report only pertinent information
Only relevant information to the referral question should be included.
- Define abbreviations and acronyms
It is important to use non-technical language and acronyms should be defined when they are used.
- Emphasize words rather than numbers
There should be an emphasis on words rather than numbers.
- Reduce difficult words
The text should be readable and use the child’s name rather than ‘the child’.
- Briefly describe the instruments used
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This bundle contains everything you need to know for the course "Clinical Skills: Developmental Psychology" given at the University of Amsterdam. It contains all the lectures and the following chapters of the books:
This bundle contains a summary of the following chapters of the book "Clinical assessment of child and adolescent personality and behaviour by Frick, Barry, & Kamphaus (fourth edition)": 2, 3, 4, 5, 13, 15, 16.