Psychologists should understand the nature of caregivers’ stressors and responsibilities, including care recipients’ health conditions and the care demands they generate. In some circumstances it may be helpful for psychologists to conduct an assessment of the care recipients’ symptoms—particularly those which cause greatest distress to the care recipient and caregiver--in order to provide more pertinent information, skill training and other clinical interventions.
Three scales illustrate the range of measures available for assessing health problems.
- SF-36 and SF-12 General health self-reports are commonly used in psychological research as brief measures of overall health quality.
- Memorial Symptom Assessment Scale
- The Minimum Data Set is required for use in all skilled nursing facilities to collect equivalent data on general health of residents in all nursing homes across the U.S. Data are collected on residents by facility staff. Other versions of the MDS have been created for particular populations (e.g., patients in visual impairment rehabilitation settings).