- 18 January 2019 18:12
Cognitive Assessment of Children and Applications in Mental Health Treatments Gain Popularity
The formal scrutiny of a person’s brain functions and the ability to process information, and the mental ability of acquiring information and building comprehension through bodily senses and the experience of going through different processes. Tools for cognitive assessment are extensively used to categorize individuals might need extra evaluation of mental abilities. Currently, these tests are used widely by business organizations as key aspect of recruitment processes to scrutinize an applicant’s competence & mental ability to perform in a particular job role, in addition to anticipating their future performances.
At present the cognitive assessment and training market for Australia and New Zealand is expected witness an exponential CAGR of more than 18 per cent through 2028.
Australian Education System Generating Opportunities for Cognitive Assessment of Children
With increasing competition among students in the modern educational environment of Australia, increasing numbers of parents are opting to put their wards through comprehensive cognitive assessment tests to gain information about a child’s unique weaknesses and strengths, and to measure where they stand in comparison to their peers in regards to learning and academic capability.
Usually cognitive assessments provided by industry leaders such as Pro Ed, and NADO make use of gold-standard tools such as The Wechsler Intelligence Scale for Children Australian and New Zealand Standardized, Fifth Edition (WISC-VA&NZ), which is designed to assess children between the ages of 6 and 16. The process involves approximately 15 sub tests, which when combined provide a wider spectrum of data to experts to improve on clinical decision making.
Cognitive assessments for children can involve composite scoring for comprehensive intellectual ability in addition to verbal comprehension, visual spatial intelligence, fluid reasoning, working memory, processing speed, quantitative reasoning, auditory working memory, nonverbal comprehension, general ability and cognitive proficiency.
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Moreover, cognitive assessment and training tools for children are also being used to identify children who display developmental delays, through accurate diagnostics, and the prescription of appropriate intervention programs.
Cognitive Assessment for Mental Health Care Gains Importance
With increasing awareness about mental health issues such as Dementia, and Parkinson’s disease, the various treatment methods being used today are highly dependent on cognitive assessment and training, to circumvent the adverse side effects of such treatments such as cognitive impairment related to memory and information processing.
For example, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT), which makes use of mild electric currents to rectify abnormal mental states, makes use of cognitive assessment and training tools to check and recalibrate the patient’s mental state in case side effects are too severe. This has already lead to then practice of switching from sine-wave to brief pulse variants of electric currents. Moreover, cognitive assessment allows the healthcare practitioner to modify or suspend the treatment course at the first sign of an adverse reaction, eliminating delays, and more permanent sort of mental damage.
Numerous companies in the Australia and New Zealand region are involving themselves in clinical testing and research activities between brain health and cognitive training and assessment procedures.
For instance, the Brain Resource Company, based in New South Wales of Australia is primarily involved providing clients with services of brain function analysis. The firm markets mental health products and provides them to different types of users ranging from clinics to individuals. The company’s key area of operations is in the United States and Australia. Moreover, the business provides consumers with access to online products that scrutinize, monitor and train the user’s brain to better manage mental health issues. The company has release a variety of products such as MyBrainSolutions, which is an online platform for improving mental health through regular assessments and training regimens to develop new habits.
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Similarly, Cogstate Ltd., a Melbourne based cognitive science firm, conducts fully computerized cognitive tests for clients including clinical and academic researchers, along with healthcare and brain injury specialist across Australia, New Zealand and the United States. The company provides various services including project management, scientific consultancy, statistical analysis, data management, and reporting. The company primarily conducts its services for biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, military, sports organizations, academic institutions, healthcare professionals & patients, and even business collaborations.
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