interRAI Transforms Mental Health Care with Comprehensive Suite of Assessment Instruments

interRAI Transforms Mental Health Care with Comprehensive Suite of Assessment Instruments

interRAI Transforms Mental Health Care with Comprehensive Suite of Assessment Instruments

interRAI: Speaking one language for high quality care worldwide

WATERLOO, Ontario, Aug. 09, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — In a recently-published ebook based on a Special Issue of Frontiers in Psychiatry, interRAI announced the successful development of their comprehensive suite of mental health assessment systems. interRAI’s innovative approach aims to improve quality of life and quality of care, globally, by addressing the complex nature of mental health conditions, considering the multifaceted interactions between psychological, biological, social, and environmental factors.

interRAI assessment systems are utilized by researchers and health professionals in over 35 countries for care planning, outcome measurement, resource allocation, quality improvement, and policy development. These systems are used across the continuum of care and with persons of all ages from newborns to centenarians.

The Frontiers in Psychiatry Special Issue includes 21 peer-reviewed articles that showcase the novel mental health applications of the interRAI suite in psychiatric and non-mental healthcare settings. The studies presented in this compilation highlight the invaluable contributions of interRAI instruments to understanding and addressing mental health challenges.

Among the featured studies is research led by Dr. John Hirdes, Chair of the interRAI Network for Mental Health, which demonstrates the feasibility of large-scale consistent measurement of mood across populations with varying levels of health, functional ability, and cognition. This research reveals the significant impact of the pandemic on increased distress levels in both the general population and clinical populations receiving community mental health services. Hirdes said, “These findings emphasize the value of dynamic mental health measures and the need for responsive interventions to emerging challenges to mental health and well-being”.

Several studies demonstrate the versatility and applicability of interRAI’s Child and Youth Mental Health Assessment (ChYMH) instruments. According to Dr. Shannon Stewart, who chairs the interRAI Network on Child and Adolescent Health, “interRAI systems provide evidence-informed solutions to support an integrated approach to assessing children’s mental health”.

Three papers in the special issue report on interRAI breakthroughs with respect to understanding the quality of life (QoL) of individuals with mental health disorders. These include international validation studies on adults in mental health settings in seven countries, as well as a new system for assessing quality of life in children and youth. Dr. Chris Perlman, Vice-Chair of the interRAI Network for Mental Health, noted: “Recovery from mental health challenges is not only about improvement of psychiatric symptoms. It must also involve improvement in the person’s sense of hope, support, meaning, and community engagement”.

The interRAI suite also addresses the mental health needs of specific populations, such as injured workers receiving psychiatric services; forensic psychiatry patients; older adults in geriatric psychiatry, home care, and nursing home settings; and persons with mental health needs in contact with police.

According to Dr. Jason Ferris, interRAI Fellow and professor at The University of Queensland, “Mental health affects us all. The consequences of mental health challenges often begin early in life and can last throughout our lifetimes. interRAI systems provide essential evidence to support an integrated, coordinated, multidisciplinary approach to mental health service provision to persons of all ages across all care settings”.

A series of video interviews with the Special Issue authors is available on the interRAI WebTV site as well as on LinkedIn.

interRAI Media contact
John P. Hirdes, PhD FCAHS
University Professor, School of Public Health Sciences, University of Waterloo
1-519-888-4567 ext. 42007

About interRAI
interRAI is a collaborative network of researchers and practitioners in over 35 countries committed to improving care for persons who are disabled or medically complex. Our network strives to promote evidence-informed clinical practice and policy decision-making.

We maintain high quality standards. Each instrument represents the results of rigorous research and testing to establish the reliability and validity of items, outcome measures, assessment protocols, case-mix algorithms, and quality indicators.