The Psychological Society of Ireland



The Psychological Society of Ireland,
Floor 2, Grantham House,
Grantham Street, Dublin 8, D08 W8HD.


Training in the use of the Psychiatric Assessment Schedules for Adults with Developmental Disabilities (PAS-ADD) Clinical Interview and Mini PAS-ADD


The Special Interest Group in Learning Disabilities 

Venue: PSI Offices, Floor 2, Grantham House, Grantham Street, Dublin 8
Date: 14th & 15th September
Time: 9.30am to 4pm
Learning Credits: 8

Fees: €180 EUR PSI members, €250 Non-members

Brief description of the event:
People with an intellectual disability and mental health issues often have display atypical presentations. Communication difficulties may lead to a greater emphasis on the reports of other people. While third-party reports are useful, nothing can replace the unique perspective of what the person him/herself actually feels.
This two day training event, provided by Dr Steve Moss, trains clinicians in using the PAS-ADD, an assessment tool which is designed to meet the particular problems of assessing mental health difficulties for people with an intellectual disability. It helps build a comprehensive case formulation by bringing together information from the client, other informants and additional relevant evidence - all in one place. The transparent, evidence based scoring system provides full diagnoses and also gives a model to produce a wider case formulation. The training also covers using the Mini PAS-ADD, which is designed for interviewing informants to collect in-depth information about symptoms.

For whom?

This course will be of particular interest to:
Psychologists and other clinicians working in the intellectual disability mental health field. This includes people who have already done the Mini PAS-ADD or ChA-PAS training who may wish to extend their skills from informant interviewing to interviewing the clients themselves.
Psychologists and other clinicians working in the criminal justice system, where many individuals have a degree of cognitive impairment or language impairment.

Learning outcomes
The PAS-ADD clinical interview aims to help the assessor in a variety of ways, in terms of structuring the interview and the questions, and in providing guidance on interpreting the presentation of psychiatric symptoms shown by adults with an intellectual disability. As with the other PAS-ADD instruments, the PAS-ADD Clinical Interview aims to enhance the quality of assessment in relation both to reliability and validity.
The introduction to the course will focus on issues relating to the assessment of mental health in people with intellectual disability or communication problems. The majority of the two days will concentrate on the core skills

required to use the mini-PASAD and the clinical interview:
  • Enhancing the reliability of symptom identification
  • Using the glossary notes and rating information to rate symptoms correctly
  • Using the semi-structured interview
  • Developing interviewing skills and use of language appropriate for people in this population
  • Understanding and using the scoring system

Interpreting results in the context of comprehensive case formulations

Psychotic problems present particular challenges for assessment of people with cognitive or language limitations, e.g. whether incoherent or irrelevant speech is psychotic in nature; whether blunted affect is psychotic, or more related to the person's developmental level or life experiences; whether a delusion is truly "bizarre"; what is the correct diagnosis if mood symptoms are present. The PAS-ADD Clinical Interview covers psychotic problems in detail, with glossary information and symptom severity ratings written to aid the making of these difficult judgements.

The interview is partially structured, but is designed to work in flexible conjunction with the user’s clinical skills. Training emphasises the importance of the subsequent interpretation of results before making a final diagnosis.

Methods of teaching and form of the event

The majority of the course will be conducted in small groups where the participants work on clinical materials. Exercises will cover all the various sections of the interview, and will include a number of complex cases where the diagnosis/formulation may be uncertain, e.g.: ADHD and bipolar disorder, autism spectrum disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder, autism spectrum disorder and psychosis.

Some of these exercises aim to develop interviewing skills by getting participants to interview each
other in the groups.

The final section of the course will start with a discussion of the wider aspects of case formulation, and the various perspectives that need to be considered. One of the fundamental issues to be addressed is the fact that there is often more than one logical explanation for the problem having arisen. Participants will work on a complex case involving interviewing and various other types of information, to derive diagnostic hypotheses and case formulations.

Dr Steve Moss has worked for 30 years in disability research, initially in the field of visual impairment, and subsequently in the area of intellectual disability. He developed an international reputation for his work in the fields of ageing and of mental health. His work on development of the PAS-ADD system (Psychiatric Assessment Schedules for Adults with Developmental Disabilities) is particularly well known, and these assessments are now used in many countries throughout the world.Dr Moss has published over 80 articles, chapters, books and assessments, and has trained several thousand people around the work in use of the PAS-ADD system. He is currently an Honorary Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London.



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