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Assessment Tools and Diagnostic Tests in Adults and Children

When seeking to identify a patient’s health condition, advanced practice nurses can use a diverse selection of diagnostic tests and assessment tools; however, different factors affect the validity and reliability of the results produced by these tests or tools. Nurses must be aware of these factors in order to select the most appropriate test or tool and to accurately interpret the results.

Not only do these diagnostic tests affect adults, body measurements can provide a general picture of whether a child is receiving adequate nutrition or is at risk for health issues. These data, however, are just one aspect to be considered. Lifestyle, family history, and culture—among other factors—are also relevant. That said, gathering and communicating this information can be a delicate process.

For this Assignment, you will consider the validity and reliability of different assessment tools and diagnostic tests. You will explore issues such as sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values. You will also consider examples of children with various weight issues. You will explore how you could effectively gather information and encourage parents and caregivers to be proactive about their children’s health and weight.

To Prepare

  • Review this week’s Learning Resources and consider factors that impact the validity and reliability of various assessment tools and diagnostic tests. You also will review examples of pediatric patients and their families as it relates to BMI.
  • By Day 1 of this week, you will be assigned to one of the following Assignment options by your Instructor: Adult Assessment Tools or Diagnostic Tests (option 1), or Child Health Case (Option 2). Note: Please see the “Course Announcements” section of the classroom for your assignments from your Instructor.
  • Search the Walden Library and credible sources for resources explaining the tool or test you were assigned. What is its purpose, how is it conducted, and what information does it gather?
  • Also, as you search the Walden library and credible sources, consider what the literature discusses regarding the validity, reliability, sensitivity, specificity, predictive values, ethical dilemmas, and controversies related to the test or tool.
  • If you are assigned Assignment Option 2 (Child), consider what health issues and risks may be relevant to the child in the health example.
    • Based on the risks you identified, consider what further information you would need to gain a full understanding of the child’s health. Think about how you could gather this information in a sensitive fashion.
    • Consider how you could encourage parents or caregivers to be proactive toward the child’s health.

The Assignment

Assignment (3–4 pages, not including title and reference pages):

Assignment Option 1: Adult Assessment Tools or Diagnostic Tests:
Include the following:

  • A description of how the assessment tool or diagnostic test you were assigned is used in healthcare.
    • What is its purpose?
    • How is it conducted?
    • What information does it gather?
  • Based on your research, evaluate the test or the tool’s validity and reliability, and explain any issues with sensitivity, reliability, and predictive values. Include references in appropriate APA formatting.

Assignment Option 2: Child Health Case:
Include the following:

  • An explanation of the health issues and risks that are relevant to the child you were assigned.
  • Describe additional information you would need in order to further assess his or her weight-related health.
  • Identify and describe any risks and consider what further information you would need to gain a full understanding of the child’s health. Think about how you could gather this information in a sensitive fashion.
  • Taking into account the parents’ and caregivers’ potential sensitivities, list at least three specific questions you would ask about the child to gather more information.
  • Provide at least two strategies you could employ to encourage the parents or caregivers to be proactive about their child’s health and weight.

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