Glyn was asked to speak at the AOHNP conference again this year and got the opportunity to address the subjects of boosting self esteem and questions about mental health issues in occupational health.
One of the many interesting questions he was asked was about measuring cognitive abilities such as memory or concentration and what tools were available. He discussed briefly the few measures that are are widely used such as mini mental state tests, but suggested personalised measures as his own favoured way of checking for improvement.
Personalised measures start off with the premise that poor concentration per se for example is not really the issue so digging a little deeper is needed. Finding out what suggests to the client they have poor concentration is of far greater utility. If the client identifies difficulties following a TV programme or getting past the sports pages in the paper then this is the measure which might be most useful. The retest in a few weeks is simply whether or not the person can now watch Coronation Street without being distracted by their own thoughts or do they now reach the adverts beyond the football. Even if there are residual difficulties, have there been any successes? What do close friends and family have to say?
Then retest in another few weeks.
Cognitive difficulties often occur with other psychological issues and frequently correct themselves as the bigger problem improves. Personalised measures often provide clarity of the overall picture. Feel free to offer your own ideas or let us know when you have experimented and how you found personalised measures.