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Without Wasting a Word: Extreme Improvements in Efficiency and Accuracy Using Computerized Adaptive Testing for Mental Health Disorders (CAT-MH)

  • Psychiatry in the Digital Age (J Shore, Section Editor)
  • Published:
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Abstract

Purpose of Review

We review recent literature on the adaptive assessment of complex mental health disorders and provide a detailed comparison of classical test theory and adaptive testing based on multidimensional item response theory.

Recent Findings

Adaptive tests for a wide variety of mental health traits (e.g., depression, anxiety, mania, substance misuse, suicidality) are now available in a cloud-based environment. These tests have been validated in a variety of settings against lengthy structured clinical interviews with excellent results and even higher reliability than fixed-length tests. Applications include screening and assessments in emergency departments, psychiatric and primary care clinics, student health clinics, perinatal medicine clinics, child welfare settings, and the judicial system.

Summary

The future of mental health measurement will be based on automated screening and assessments. Adaptive tests will provide increased precision of measurement and decreased burden of measurement. Integration into the electronic health record is important and now easily accomplished.

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Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Acknowledgments

Robert Gibbons is a founder of Adaptive Testing Technologies which distributes the CAT-MH™ suite of tests. The terms of this arrangement have been reviewed and approved by the University of Chicago in accordance with its conflict of interest policies.

Funding

This work was supported by grants R01-MH-66302, R01-MH-100155, 2 R01-MH-100155-06, U01-MH-104311, and 1R44MH118780 from the National Institute of Mental Health.

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Correspondence to Robert D. Gibbons.

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Frank V. deGruy declares no potential conflicts of interest.

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This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

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Gibbons, R.D., deGruy, F.V. Without Wasting a Word: Extreme Improvements in Efficiency and Accuracy Using Computerized Adaptive Testing for Mental Health Disorders (CAT-MH). Curr Psychiatry Rep 21, 67 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11920-019-1053-9

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11920-019-1053-9

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