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Unit information: Development, Rehabilitation, Evidence Based Neuropsychology and Principles of Clinical Statistics in 2015/16

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Unit name Development, Rehabilitation, Evidence Based Neuropsychology and Principles of Clinical Statistics
Unit code PSYCM0037
Credit points 30
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Kit Pleydell-Pearce
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Psychological Science
Faculty Faculty of Life Sciences

Description including Unit Aims

Part A: Development and Rehabilitation Part A aims to provide an understanding of the effects of brain damage/disease across the life span. Students will develop an understanding of the principles of biological recovery from brain damage and will experience critical analysis of evidence concerning methods of rehabilitation. Students will be exposed to a variety of perspectives on rehabilitation following brain damage across different phases following injury, including, acute medical, acute rehabilitation, post-acute rehabilitation and social work integration. Students will gain an understanding of the role of medical input in rehabilitation including pharmacological approaches to symptom management. Students will develop an understanding of contemporary approaches to cognitive rehabilitation, problematic behaviour management and the management of adjustment and emotional symptoms in rehabilitation. Throughout the unit moral, ethical and legal aspects of clinical practice will be considered. Part A aims to fulfil part of the syllabus requirements for the British Psychological Society diploma in clinical neuropsychology. Specifically this unit aims:

  1. To teach students about the impact of brain damage/disease across the lifespan and the implications of this for biological recovery and functional rehabilitation.
  2. To teach students about contemporary clinical approaches to rehabilitation following brain damage / disease including the multi-disciplinary nature of such efforts.
  3. To guide students in how to deliver clinical neuropsychological rehabilitation (assessment and intervention) for cognitive, emotional and behavioural problems following brain damage / disease and how to evaluate its effectiveness.
  4. To help student to translate research findings in to evidence based clinical interventions.
  5. To help students develop an awareness of the moral, ethical and legal considerations relevant to clinical practice in relation to rehabilitation.

Part B: Evidence-based neuropsychology Part B requires students to attend peer-delivered evidence based reviews of the literature linking theoretical issues to applications in neuropsychological practice and/or critically appraising an aspect of neuropsychological practice on the basis of recent evidence and/or delivering a case presentation which describes evidence-based assessment of a patient. Students are expected to engage in constructive debate of papers/cases which they observe being delivered by their peers and are also required to give an assessed presentation (30 minutes) and also deal effectively with questions from assessors and those posed by peers.

The core of the review which constitutes Part B will focus upon a specific published neuropsychological paper or published assessment technique or experience of a specific patient or review a clinical case report which focuses upon a single patient. Candidates taking BPS accredited degrees (Diploma in Clinical Neuropsychology or MSc in Clinical Neuropsychology must review a patient they have had direct experience of. Assessed presentations must also include a thorough critical analysis which draws additional theory and evidence from sources beyond the content of the focus article/patient case review. Titles for each presentation will be suggested by students on the basis of their own experience of practical challenges and the literature which connects with these challenges. However, titles and focus papers must receive prior approval by the unit coordinator. Candidates will be expected to address aspects of assessment and treatment across their choice of titles. The aims of Part B are to assist in the development of (1) critical appraisal skills and evidence-based practice within clinical neuropsychology, (2) the development of the capacity for continued self-directed professional development, (3) the development of academic and professional writing skills.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Part A: The principal learning outcome is to develop competence in clinical practice pertaining to rehabilitation, and, an understanding of the changing risk factors for various forms of neurological disorder across the human lifespan.

Part B: To be able to appraise critically the theoretical and applied literature that is relevant to a discrete area of clinical practice.

To write and present a clinically focussed presentation of evidence and respond to questions regarding the application to clinical practice. To demonstrate production of independent critical work.

Teaching Information

Content of all lectures and presentations in this UNIT will be broadcast live over the unit (and recorded for later re-play for revision purposes). Candidates are free to attend in person and we encourage this for Part A, the majority of Part B is provided via distance learning web interface tools (Adobe Connect).

Part A:

10 X 2 hour lectures provided by clinical subject matter experts.

Part B:

  1. The course coordinator will provide two initial lectures (each of 1 hour duration) in which students will be given guidance about critical appraisal of healthcare evidence as applied to neuropsychology.
  2. Students will have opportunities to attend at least 10 presentations of critical appraisals undertaken by qualified clinical neuropsychologists at North Bristol NHS Trust. Sessions will alternate between addressing rehabilitation and treatment issues.
  3. Self-directed learning and independent work will be required utilising existing NHS and academic resources providing guidance on evidence-based healthcare. (although the course coordinator is available for consultation on matters of style and format (rather than substance).

Assessment Information

Please state the methods used for formative and summative assessment, including essay word length, length and type of exams, projects, etc. The relative contributions of the different summative assessments to the overall unit mark should also be included, e.g. 3-hour written exam (60%), 2000 word essay (40%). Please link the assessment to the intended learning outcomes bearing in mind that it is expected that all intended learning outcomes are assessed.

Part A: 2 hour examination (1 long answer from 4 alternatives over 1 hour, 4 short answers from 12 alternatives over 1 hour) and an additional separate 40 minute MCQ assessing detailed knowledge across the entire content of Part A. Each of these three components provides 22% of the total unit (thus Part A provides 66% of total unit mark).

Part B: Assessed Presentation (30 minutes) in which deliver, content, capacity to provide satisfactory and knowledgeable answers to questions defines the overall mark awarded. Part B provides 34% of the total unit mark.

Please note that the assessment load on these units was strongly guided by feedback from the professional accreditation team which reviewed our taught clinical neuropsychology programmes. In November 2010 their report was concerned that original intentions surrounding assessment load were too onerous and in the light of that accreditation feedback adjustments were made.

Reading and References

Part A:

  • Rehabilitation for Traumatic Brain Injury (2005). High et al. Oxford University Press
  • Neurobehavioural disability and social handicap following traumatic brain injury (2002). Wood and McMillan. Psychology Press.
  • Alderman (2003) Contemporary approaches to the management of aggression and irritability following traumatic brain injury. Neuropsychological rehabilitation, 13(1/2), 211-240.
  • Yates, (2003).Psychological adjustment, social enablement and community integration following acquired brain injury. Neuropsychological rehabilitation, 13(1), 291-306.
  • Raskin and Mateer (2000). Neuropsychological management of mild traumatic brain injury. OUP

Part B:

Cochrane reviews:

The TRIP Database direct, hyperlinked access to the largest collection of 'evidence-based material on the web as well as articles from premier on-line journals such as the BMJ, JAMA, NEJM etc

EB Users' Guides published as a series in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). on behalf of the Evidence-Based Medicine Working Group.

  • The human brain and its disorders (2007). Richards et al. OUP