We asked about your own efforts to assess (via standardized measures) “adulting” (functioning, independence, etc). I asked specifically about those using the DLA-20, and how functional assessments themselves vary in their intent (e.g., is it to understand right level of service fit; or to actually gather information to guide how to best target service supports and interventions?). We received 29 responses, representing 12 states. Most everyone reported “yes” to the question: “Do you use any assessment tool to assess adulting/community participation/functioning?” Of my “yes” respondents, a handful indicated that the functional assessment was embedded in a much larger assessment and was limited in scope and depth (i.e., not tremendously useful).
Eight (8) respondents indicated that they complete the DLA-20, and most indicated that it served to guide interventions and supports more than it served to determine the right level of service (i.e., ACT or something else). Most were completing /updating the DLA-20 quarterly and that it took an experienced user 10-15 minutes to complete for follow-ups (the initial can take much longer). DLA-20 users varied in how useful they found it (sometimes critiquing that it is not fully used in the way it could be; questioning who should be primary source of data (client self-report; team member evaluation and judgement); challenge in capturing real change and impact given common fluctuations among people with serious mental illness — hard to fully see positive impact over time when looking at status every 90 days).
I wanted to pass on other assessments people reported to be using and with positive endorsements:
- Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) – This user indicated this is still new to agency, but so far positive feedback using: https://www.aafp.org/patient-care/social-determinants-of-health/everyone-project/eop-tools/assessment-action.html
- Quality of Life Enjoyment and Satisfaction Questionnaire Short Form – User indicated they like the simplicity. https://www.med.upenn.edu/mfc/assets/user-content/documents/Q-LES-Q-SF.PDF
- Another shared they did not like the current tool and they are shifting to the Reaching Recovery out of the Mental Health Center of Denver: https://mhcd.org/reaching-recovery-home/
- One did a plug for the Revised Comprehensive PACT Assessment (this is a great tool to be checking out!): https://www.hca.wa.gov/assets/billers-and-providers/PACT-ComprehensiveAssessmentTemplate.pdf
- Another shared they continue to rely on assessment tools in the NAMI ACT Start-Up manual, commenting: ” each assessment used is completed with a strengths/needs and recommendation portion for future goal development.”
Sounds like there are options out there — and room for even better options to emerge. We will continue to follow-up on this (and don’t forget we have a Discussion Forum!!! A great place to follow a thread/contribute to a conversation). Wishing that you had contributed your thoughts and ideas? You still can here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/ADULTINGassessmnt
photo by Holger Link