Week 10: Assignment: Assessing and Diagnosing Patients With Neurocognitive and 

Neurodevelopmental Disorders

 

 

 

 

The human brain only constitutes approximately 2% of an individual’s total body weight, a percentage that pales in comparison to the brain’s level of importance in human development (Koch, 2016). Although externally protected by layers of membranes as well as the skull, the brain is not very resistant to damage. Damage to the brain may compromise its functionality, which may, in turn, lead to neurodevelopmental disorders in childhood and adolescence or neurocognitive disorders for any number of reasons across the lifespan. 

 

This week, you practice assessing and diagnosing neurocognitive and neurodevelopmental disorders across the lifespan. 

Reference: Koch, C. (2016, January 1). Does brain size matter? Scientific American. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/does-brain-size-matter1/

 

Assignment: Assessing and Diagnosing Patients With Neurocognitive and Neurodevelopmental Disorders

 

 

Neurodevelopmental disorders begin in the developmental period of childhood and may continue through adulthood. They may range from the very specific to a general or global impairment, and often co-occur (APA, 2013). They include specific learning and language disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorders, and intellectual disabilities. Neurocognitive disorders, on the other hand, represent a decline in one or more areas of prior mental function that is significant enough to impact independent functioning. They may occur at any time in life and be caused by factors such brain injury; diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, or Huntington’s; infection; or stroke, among others.

 

For this Assignment, you will assess a patient in a case study who presents with a neurocognitive or neurodevelopmental disorder.

 

 

​To Prepare:

  • Review this week’s Learning Resources and consider the insights they provide. Consider how neurocognitive impairments may have similar presentations to other psychological disorders.
  • Review the Comprehensive Psychiatric Evaluation template, which you will use to complete this Assignment.
  • By Day 1 of this week, select a specific video case study to use for this Assignment from the Video Case Selections choices in the Learning Resources. View your assigned video case and review the additional data for the case in the “Case History Reports” document, keeping the requirements of the evaluation template in mind.
  • Consider what history would be necessary to collect from this patient.
  • Consider what interview questions you would need to ask this patient.
  • Identify at least three possible differential diagnoses for the patient.

​By Day 7 of Week 10

Complete and submit your Comprehensive Psychiatric Evaluation, including your differential diagnosis and critical-thinking process to formulate primary diagnosis. Incorporate the following into your responses in the template:

  • Subjective: What details did the patient provide regarding their chief complaint and symptomology to derive your differential diagnosis? What is the duration and severity of their symptoms? How are their symptoms impacting their functioning in life? 
  • Objective: What observations did you make during the psychiatric assessment?  
  • Assessment: Discuss the patient’s mental status examination results. What were your differential diagnoses? Provide a minimum of three possible diagnoses with supporting evidence, listed in order from highest priority to lowest priority. Compare the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for each differential diagnosis and explain what DSM-5 criteria rules out the differential diagnosis to find an accurate diagnosis. Explain the critical-thinking process that led you to the primary diagnosis you selected. Include pertinent positives and pertinent negatives for the specific patient case.
  • Reflection notes: What would you do differently with this client if you could conduct the session over? Also include in your reflection a discussion related to legal/ethical considerations (demonstrate critical thinking beyond confidentiality and consent for treatment!), health promotion and disease prevention taking into consideration patient factors (such as age, ethnic group, etc.), PMH, and other risk factors (e.g., socioeconomic, cultural background, etc.).

 

 

 

​Rubric Detail

 

Select Grid View or List View to change the rubric’s layout.

 

​Name: NRNP_6635_Week10_Assignment_Rubric

 

Excellent

Good

Fair

Poor

Create documentation in the Comprehensive Psychiatric Evaluation Template about the patient you selected. In the Subjective section, provide: • Chief complaint • History of present illness (HPI) • Past psychiatric history • Medication trials and current medications • Psychotherapy or previous psychiatric diagnosis • Pertinent substance use, family psychiatric/substance use, social, and medical history • Allergies • ROS

18 (18%) – 20 (20%)

The response throughly and accurately describes the patient’s subjective complaint, history of present illness, past psychiatric history, medication trials and current medications, psychotherapy or previous psychiatric diagnosis, pertinent histories, allergies, and review of all systems that would inform a differential diagnosis.

16 (16%) – 17 (17%)

The response accurately describes the patient’s subjective complaint, history of present illness, past psychiatric history, medication trials and current medications, psychotherapy or previous psychiatric diagnosis, pertinent histories, allergies, and review of all systems that would inform a differential diagnosis.

14 (14%) – 15 (15%)

The response describes the patient’s subjective complaint, history of present illness, past psychiatric history, medication trials and current medications, psychotherapy or previous psychiatric diagnosis, pertinent histories, allergies, and review of all systems that would inform a differential diagnosis, but is somewhat vague or contains minor innacuracies.

0 (0%) – 13 (13%)

The response provides an incomplete or inaccurate description of the patient’s subjective complaint, history of present illness, past psychiatric history, medication trials and current medications, psychotherapy or previous psychiatric diagnosis, pertinent histories, allergies, and review of all systems that would inform a differential diagnosis. Or, subjective documentation is missing.

In the Objective section, provide: • Physical exam documentation of systems pertinent to the chief complaint, HPI, and history • Diagnostic results, including any labs, imaging, or other assessments needed to develop the differential diagnoses.

18 (18%) – 20 (20%)

The response thoroughly and accurately documents the patient’s physical exam for pertinent systems. Diagnostic tests and their results are thoroughly and accurately documented.

16 (16%) – 17 (17%)

The response accurately documents the patient’s physical exam for pertinent systems. Diagnostic tests and their results are accurately documented.

14 (14%) – 15 (15%)

Documentation of the patient’s physical exam is somewhat vague or contains minor innacuracies. Diagnostic tests and their results are documented but contain minor innacuracies.

0 (0%) – 13 (13%)

The response provides incomplete or inaccurate documentation of the patient’s physical exam. Systems may have been unnecessarily reviewed, or, objective documentation is missing.

In the Assessment section, provide: • Results of the mental status examination, presented in paragraph form. • At least three differentials with supporting evidence. List them from top priority to least priority. Compare the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for each differential diagnosis and explain what DSM-5 criteria rules out the differential diagnosis to find an accurate diagnosis. Explain the critical-thinking process that led you to the primary diagnosis you selected. Include pertinent positives and pertinent negatives for the specific patient case.

23 (23%) – 25 (25%)

The response thoroughly and accurately documents the results of the mental status exam. Response lists at least three distinctly different and detailed possible disorders in order of priority for a differential diagnosis of the patient in the assigned case study, and it provides a thorough, accurate, and detailed justification for each of the disorders selected.

20 (20%) – 22 (22%)

The response accurately documents the results of the mental status exam. Response lists at least three distinctly different and detailed possible disorders in order of priority for a differential diagnosis of the patient in the assigned case study, and it provides an accurate justification for each of the disorders selected.

18 (18%) – 19 (19%)

The response documents the results of the mental status exam with some vagueness or innacuracy. Response lists at least three different possible disorders for a differential diagnosis of the patient and provides a justification for each, but may contain some vaguess or innacuracy.

0 (0%) – 17 (17%)

The response provides an incomplete or inaccurate description of the results of the mental status exam and explanation of the differential diagnoses. Or, assessment documentation is missing.

Reflect on this case. Discuss what you learned and what you might do differently. Also include in your reflection a discussion related to legal/ethical considerations (demonstrate critical thinking beyond confidentiality and consent for treatment!), health promotion and disease prevention taking into consideration patient factors (such as age, ethnic group, etc.), PMH, and other risk factors (e.g., socioeconomic, cultural background, etc.).

9 (9%) – 10 (10%)

Reflections are thorough, thoughtful, and demonstrate critical thinking.

8 (8%) – 8 (8%)

Reflections demonstrate critical thinking.

7 (7%) – 7 (7%)

Reflections are somewhat general or do not demonstrate critical thinking.

0 (0%) – 6 (6%)

Reflections are incomplete, inaccurate, or missing.

Provide at least three evidence-based, peer-reviewed journal articles or evidenced-based guidelines that relate to this case to support your diagnostics and differential diagnoses. Be sure they are current (no more than 5 years old).

14 (14%) – 15 (15%)

The response provides at least three current, evidence-based resources from the literature to support the assessment and diagnosis of the patient in the assigned case study. The resources reflect the latest clinical guidelines and provide strong justification for decision making.

12 (12%) – 13 (13%)

The response provides at least three current, evidence-based resources from the literature that appropriately support the assessment and diagnosis of the patient in the assigned case study.

11 (11%) – 11 (11%)

Three evidence-based resources are provided to support assessment and diagnosis of the patient in the assigned case study, but they may only provide vague or weak justification.

0 (0%) – 10 (10%)

Two or fewer resources are provided to support assessment and diagnosis decisions. The resources may not be current or evidence based.

Written Expression and Formatting—Paragraph development and organization: Paragraphs make clear points that support well-developed ideas, flow logically, and demonstrate continuity of ideas. Sentences are carefully focused—neither long and rambling nor short and lacking substance. A clear and comprehensive purpose statement and introduction are provided that delineate all required criteria.

5 (5%) – 5 (5%)

Paragraphs and sentences follow writing standards for flow, continuity, and clarity. A clear and comprehensive purpose statement, introduction, and conclusion are provided that delineate all required criteria.

4 (4%) – 4 (4%)

Paragraphs and sentences follow writing standards for flow, continuity, and clarity 80% of the time. Purpose, introduction, and conclusion of the assignment are stated, yet they are brief and not descriptive.

3.5 (3.5%) – 3.5 (3.5%)

Paragraphs and sentences follow writing standards for flow, continuity, and clarity 60%–79% of the time. Purpose, introduction, and conclusion of the assignment is vague or off topic.

0 (0%) – 3 (3%)

Paragraphs and sentences follow writing standards for flow, continuity, and clarity less than 60% of the time. No purpose statement, introduction, or conclusion were provided.

Written Expression and Formatting—English writing standards: Correct grammar, mechanics, and punctuation

5 (5%) – 5 (5%)

Uses correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation with no errors

4 (4%) – 4 (4%)

Contains a few (one or two) grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors

3 (3%) – 3 (3%)

Contains several (three or four) grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors

0 (0%) – 2 (2%)

Contains many (≥ five) grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors that interfere with the reader’s understanding

 

 

​

 

CHOOSE ONE CASE STUDY

 

 

 

Week 10 Neurocognitive and Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Training Title 48

Name: Sarah Higgins

Gender: female

Age: 9 years old

T- 97.4 P- 62 R 14 95/60 Ht 4’5 Wt 63lbs

Background: no history of treatment, developmental milestones met on time, vaccinations up 

to date. Sleeps 9hrs/night, meals are difficult as she has hard time sitting for meals, she does 

get proper nutrition per PCP. 

Symptom Media. (Producer). (2017). Training title 48 [Video]. https://video-alexanderstreet#com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/watch/training-title-48

 

 

 

Training Title 50

Name: Harold Griffin

Gender: male

Age:58 years old

T- 98.8 P- 86 R 18 134/88 Ht 5’11 Wt 180lbs

Background: 

Has bachelor’s degree in engineering. He is homosexual and dates casually, never married, no 

children. Has one younger sister. Sleeps 4-6 hours, appetite good. Denied legal issues; MOCA 

27/30 difficulty with attention and delayed recall; ASRS-5 20/24; denied hx of drug use; enjoys 

one scotch drink on the weekends with a cigar. Allergies Morphine; history HTN blood pressure 

controlled with losartan 100mg daily, angina prescribed ASA 81mg po daily, metoprolol 25mg 

twice daily. Hypertriglyceridemia prescribed fenofibrate 160mg daily, has BPH prescribed 

tamsulosin 0.4mg po bedtime. 

Symptom Media. (Producer). (2017). Training title 50 [Video]. https://video-alexanderstreet#com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/watch/training-title-5

 

 

 

 

Here is the template

 

 

Week (enter week #): (Enter assignment title)

 

 

Student Name

College of Nursing-PMHNP, Walden University

NRNP 6635: Psychopathology and Diagnostic Reasoning

Faculty Name

Assignment Due Date

 

 

 

CC (chief complaint): A brief statement identifying why the patient is here. This statement is verbatim of the patient’s own words about why presenting for assessment. For a patient with dementia or other cognitive deficits, this statement can be obtained from a family member. 

HPI: Begin this section with patient’s initials, age, race, gender, purpose of evaluation, current medication and referral reason. For example:

N.M. is a 34-year-old Asian male presents for psychiatric evaluation for anxiety. He is currently prescribed sertraline which he finds ineffective. His PCP referred him for evaluation and treatment.

Or

P.H., a 16-year-old Hispanic female, presents for psychiatric evaluation for concentration difficulty. She is not currently prescribed psychotropic medications. She is referred by her therapist for medication evaluation and treatment.

Then, this section continues with the symptom analysis for your note. Thorough documentation in this section is essential for patient care, coding, and billing analysis. 

Paint a picture of what is wrong with the patient. First what is bringing the patient to your evaluation. Then, include a PSYCHIATRIC REVIEW OF SYMPTOMS. The symptoms onset, duration, frequency, severity, and impact. Your description here will guide your differential diagnoses. You are seeking symptoms that may align with many DSM-5 diagnoses, narrowing to what aligns with diagnostic criteria for mental health and substance use disorders. 

Past Psychiatric History: This section documents the patient’s past treatments. Use the mnemonic Go Cha MP. 

General Statement: Typically, this is a statement of the patients first treatment experience. For example: The patient entered treatment at the age of 10 with counseling for depression during her parents’ divorce. OR The patient entered treatment for detox at age 26 after abusing alcohol since age 13.

Caregivers are listed if applicable.

Hospitalizations: How many hospitalizations? When and where was last hospitalization? How many detox? How many residential treatments? When and where was last detox/residential treatment? Any history of suicidal or homicidal behaviors? Any history of self-harm behaviors?

Medication trials: What are the previous psychotropic medications the patient has tried and what was their reaction? Effective, Not Effective, Adverse Reaction? Some examples: Haloperidol (dystonic reaction), risperidone (hyperprolactinemia), olanzapine (effective, insurance wouldn’t pay for it)

Psychotherapy or Previous Psychiatric Diagnosis: This section can be completed one of two ways depending on what you want to capture to support the evaluation. First, does the patient know what type? Did they find psychotherapy helpful or not? Why? Second, what are the previous diagnosis for the client noted from previous treatments and other providers. Thirdly, you could document both.

Substance Use History: This section contains any history or current use of caffeine, nicotine, illicit substance (including marijuana), and alcohol. Include the daily amount of use and last known use. Include type of use such as inhales, snorts, IV, etc. Include any histories of withdrawal complications from tremors, Delirium Tremens, or seizures. 

Family Psychiatric/Substance Use History: This section contains any family history of psychiatric illness, substance use illnesses, and family suicides. You may choose to use a genogram to depict this information. Be sure to include a reader’s key to your genogram or write up in narrative form. 

Social History: This section may be lengthy if completing an evaluation for psychotherapy or shorter if completing an evaluation for psychopharmacology. However, at a minimum, please include: 

Where patient was born, who raised the patient

Number of brothers/sisters (what order is the patient within siblings)

Who the patient currently lives with in a home? Are they single, married, divorced, widowed? How many children?

Educational Level

Hobbies:

Work History: currently working/profession, disabled, unemployed, retired?

Legal history: past hx, any current issues?

Trauma history: Any childhood or adult history of trauma?

Violence Hx: Concern or issues about safety (personal, home, community, sexual (current & historical) 

Medical History: This section contains any illnesses, surgeries, include any hx of seizures, head injuries. 

 

Current Medications: Include dosage, frequency, length of time used, and reason for use. Also include OTC or homeopathic products.

Allergies: Include medication, food, and environmental allergies separately. Provide a description of what the allergy is (e.g., angioedema, anaphylaxis). This will help determine a true reaction vs. intolerance.

Reproductive Hx: Menstrual history (date of LMP), Pregnant (yes or no), Nursing/lactating (yes or no), contraceptive use (method used), types of intercourse: oral, anal, vaginal, other, any sexual concerns

ROS: Cover all body systems that may help you include or rule out a differential diagnosis. Please note: THIS IS DIFFERENT from a physical examination!

You should list each system as follows: General: Head: EENT: etc. You should list these in bullet format and document the systems in order from head to toe.

Example of Complete ROS:

GENERAL: No weight loss, fever, chills, weakness, or fatigue.

HEENT: Eyes: No visual loss, blurred vision, double vision, or yellow sclerae. Ears, Nose, Throat: No hearing loss, sneezing, congestion, runny nose, or sore throat.

SKIN: No rash or itching.

CARDIOVASCULAR: No chest pain, chest pressure, or chest discomfort. No palpitations or edema.

RESPIRATORY: No shortness of breath, cough, or sputum.

GASTROINTESTINAL: No anorexia, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. No abdominal pain or blood.

GENITOURINARY: Burning on urination, urgency, hesitancy, odor, odd color

NEUROLOGICAL: No headache, dizziness, syncope, paralysis, ataxia, numbness, or tingling in the extremities. No change in bowel or bladder control.

MUSCULOSKELETAL: No muscle, back pain, joint pain, or stiffness.

HEMATOLOGIC: No anemia, bleeding, or bruising.

LYMPHATICS: No enlarged nodes. No history of splenectomy.

ENDOCRINOLOGIC: No reports of sweating, cold, or heat intolerance. No polyuria or polydipsia.

Physical exam (If applicable and if you have the opportunity to perform—document if the exam is completed by PCP): From head to toe, include what you see, hear, and feel when doing your physical exam. You only need to examine the systems that are pertinent to the CC, HPI, and History. Do not use “WNL” or “normal.” You must describe what you see. Always document in head-to-toe format i.e., General: Head: EENT: etc. 

Diagnostic results: Include any labs, X-rays, or other diagnostics that are needed to develop the differential diagnoses (support with evidence and guidelines).

Assessment

Mental Status Examination: For the purposes of your courses, this section must be presented in paragraph form and not use of a checklist! In this section you will describe the patient’s appearance, attitude, behavior, mood and affect, speech, thought processes, thought content, perceptions (hallucinations, pseudohallucinations, illusions, etc.)., cognition, insight, judgment, and SI/HI. See an example below. You will modify to include the specifics for your patient on the above elements—DO NOT just copy the example. You may use a preceptor’s way of organizing the information if the MSE is in paragraph form. 

He is an 8-year-old African American male who looks his stated age. He is cooperative with the examiner. He is neatly groomed and clean, dressed appropriately. There is no evidence of any abnormal motor activity. His speech is clear, coherent, normal in volume and tone. His thought process is goal-directed and logical. There is no evidence of looseness of association or flight of ideas. His mood is euthymic, and his affect is appropriate to his mood. He was smiling at times in an appropriate manner. He denies any auditory or visual hallucinations. There is no evidence of any delusional thinking.   He denies any current suicidal or homicidal ideation. Cognitively, he is alert and oriented. His recent and remote memory is intact. His concentration is good. His insight is good. 

Differential Diagnoses: You must have at least three differentials with supporting evidence. Explain what rules each differential in or out and justify your primary diagnosis selection. You will use supporting evidence from the literature to support your rationale. Include pertinent positives and pertinent negatives for the specific patient case.

 

Also included in this section is the reflection. Reflect on this case and discuss whether or not you agree with your preceptor’s assessment and diagnostic impression of the patient and why or why not. What did you learn from this case? What would you do differently? 

Also include in your reflection a discussion related to legal/ethical considerations (demonstrating critical thinking beyond confidentiality and consent for treatment!), health promotion and disease prevention taking into consideration patient factors (such as age, ethnic group, etc.), PMH, and other risk factors (e.g., socioeconomic, cultural background, etc.).

References (move to begin on next page)

You are required to include at least three evidence-based, peer-reviewed journal articles or evidenced-based guidelines which relate to this case to support your diagnostics and differentials diagnoses. Be sure to use correct APA 7th edition formatting.

 

 

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