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PSY 961 – Advanced Psychopathology

2017 – S1 Day

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit Convenor
Melissa Norberg
Contact via melissa.norberg@mq.edu.au
C3A 511
Tuesdays 10-12pm
Convenor of PSYN841 component
Jennifer Cornish
C3A 412
by request
Credit points Credit points
4
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Admission to MClinPsych or DClinPsych
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
The aim of this unit is to develop a basic understanding of the diagnosis, theories and current models of the major forms of psychopathology. For each disorder, diagnostic criteria and issues in diagnosis and recognition are discussed. Models to be discussed will be those that are scientifically testable and therefore amenable to examination of their empirical support. The unit also provides an overview of the basic principles of neuropharmacology with particular emphasis on the disorders seen in clinical psychology practice.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at http://students.mq.edu.au/student_admin/enrolmentguide/academicdates/

Learning Outcomes

  1. Recognise and diagnose DSM disorders. Be able to differentially diagnose.
  2. Know key demographic and epidemiological characteristics of the main disorders.
  3. Understand the main psychological theories underlying the aetiology and maintenance of psychological disorders and the evidence supporting them.
  4. Be able to choose a treatment based on the evidence that exists for a disorder.
  5. Behave as a scientist-practitioner, a person who, for the remainder of their career, will integrate scientific findings into their practice in order to make informed mental health care decisions for their patients. A person who will only use theories backed by science to inform their practice and who will turn to science for answers when problems arise with helping a patient.

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Mid-semester exam 30% 27.3.2017
Case Report 25% 10.4.2017
Final Exam 40% 29.5.2017
Research Task 5% 13.3.2017

Mid-semester exam

Due: 27.3.2017
Weighting: 30%

This exam will consist of 40 multiple-choice questions, with 5 response options. This exam will assess material covered in Weeks 1-4 of the neuropsychopharmcology component (PSYN841) of this unit. You will have 40 minutes to complete this exam. 

You must pass the exam to pass the unit.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Understand the main psychological theories underlying the aetiology and maintenance of psychological disorders and the evidence supporting them.
  • Behave as a scientist-practitioner, a person who, for the remainder of their career, will integrate scientific findings into their practice in order to make informed mental health care decisions for their patients. A person who will only use theories backed by science to inform their practice and who will turn to science for answers when problems arise with helping a patient.

Case Report

Due: 10.4.2017
Weighting: 25%
This is a hurdle assessment task (see assessment policy for more information on hurdle assessment tasks)

For those of you doing PSY977, this assignment is linked to that unit. You will be provided with two case descriptions. You simply need to choose one of these cases. You should use the same case across units.

For this unit, you need to consider the case carefully and decide which “disorder” best fits the case’s main or primary problem. Next, select a single theoretical model of that disorder, which has reasonable empirical support.

In part 1 of the assignment, you need to describe the details of the theory/model and briefly review the empirical evidence for it. In other words, first provide a brief summary of the key elements of the theory/model. This should be as clear and logical a description as possible, while remaining brief. Next, you should provide a brief summary of the key empirical evidence that supports the main points or predictions of that model. This does not need to be a thorough literature review, but an illustration of some findings or reviews of literature. As much as possible, remember to be a scientist and ensure you consider the value and strength of the research in a critical way.

In part 2 of the assignment, you need to develop a formulation of the various features of the case in terms of the theory/model that you have selected and its empirical support. You should consider how well the theory/model describes the important aspects of your case and how it adds to (or limits) your understanding of the case. How does the model help us to better understand aspects of the case? What aspects of the case do not seem to be covered by the model or do not fit with the model? What additional information do we need to know or might we ask from our case to see if it fits? In Part 2, be sure to indicate the diagnosis(es) met and report the behaviours that support diagnosis(es), but do not simply repeat what is in the case report. Do not include any tables or graphs.

The case report should be between 1400-1600 words in length (excluding references). Citations and references should conform to APA Style rules as described in the sixth edition of the "Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association."

Your case reports should be easy to read. The report should be clearly organised, with smooth transitions. In addition, sentences should be concise, with precise word choice. The tone should be formal and all technical terms should be clearly described.

Note

An overall goal of this course is to develop critical thinking skills. Because the field changes over time as much of what we will discuss in this unit are “constructs,” which are not things, but rather hypothetical tools used to facilitate the understanding of human behaviour, it is vital that you develop critical thinking skills. As such, the case vignettes may or may not reflect psychopathology covered up until Week 7. If the problems discussed in the vignettes seem new to you, you will need to demonstrate your critical thinking skills. This will involve developing a hypothesis, consulting the DSM, and reading the literature in an informed manner. This will be good practice for when you are out in the field and do not have an expert readily available. 


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Recognise and diagnose DSM disorders. Be able to differentially diagnose.
  • Know key demographic and epidemiological characteristics of the main disorders.
  • Understand the main psychological theories underlying the aetiology and maintenance of psychological disorders and the evidence supporting them.
  • Behave as a scientist-practitioner, a person who, for the remainder of their career, will integrate scientific findings into their practice in order to make informed mental health care decisions for their patients. A person who will only use theories backed by science to inform their practice and who will turn to science for answers when problems arise with helping a patient.

Final Exam

Due: 29.5.2017
Weighting: 40%

This exam will consist of eight short-answer questions. These questions assess material covered in the lectures and in the assigned readings and will focus on diagnostic and theoretical issues. Answers should be brief--half a page or less. You will have 90 minutes to complete this exam.

You must pass the exam to pass the unit.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Recognise and diagnose DSM disorders. Be able to differentially diagnose.
  • Know key demographic and epidemiological characteristics of the main disorders.
  • Understand the main psychological theories underlying the aetiology and maintenance of psychological disorders and the evidence supporting them.
  • Be able to choose a treatment based on the evidence that exists for a disorder.
  • Behave as a scientist-practitioner, a person who, for the remainder of their career, will integrate scientific findings into their practice in order to make informed mental health care decisions for their patients. A person who will only use theories backed by science to inform their practice and who will turn to science for answers when problems arise with helping a patient.

Research Task

Due: 13.3.2017
Weighting: 5%

You are to submit 5 abstracts printed from a biomedical database (such as PubMed or Medline, NOT PsychINFO). Each abstract is to be of a different psychopharmacological drug acting to treat a psychiatric disorder. This submission needs to include a cover page that includes the following information: 1. Your name and student ID. 2. First Author and year of for each publication. 3. For each abstract, name the drug and it’s mechanism of action (i.e. how it works). 4. For each abstract, name the psychiatric disorder that the drug is used to treat.

Please see task sheet on PSYN841 iLearn page for more information.


This Assessment Task relates to the following Learning Outcomes:
  • Understand the main psychological theories underlying the aetiology and maintenance of psychological disorders and the evidence supporting them.
  • Behave as a scientist-practitioner, a person who, for the remainder of their career, will integrate scientific findings into their practice in order to make informed mental health care decisions for their patients. A person who will only use theories backed by science to inform their practice and who will turn to science for answers when problems arise with helping a patient.

Delivery and Resources

 

1.   American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.)

2.   Assigned readings. See iLearn.

3.   The unit will consist of a combination of lecture and discussion, and it is expected that all students will participate actively in class. In order to facilitate participation, students are expected to arrive to class having read the relevant sections of the DSM-5 as well as the assigned articles. Reading only the abstract or an outline of an assigned reading produced by another student will NOT suffice. 

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central. Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Academic Honesty Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/academic_honesty/policy.html

Assessment Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/assessment/policy_2016.html

Grade Appeal Policy http://mq.edu.au/policy/docs/gradeappeal/policy.html

Complaint Management Procedure for Students and Members of the Public http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/complaint_management/procedure.html​

Disruption to Studies Policy (in effect until Dec 4th, 2017): http://www.mq.edu.au/policy/docs/disruption_studies/policy.html

Special Consideration Policy (in effect from Dec 4th, 2017): https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policies/special-consideration

In addition, a number of other policies can be found in the Learning and Teaching Category of Policy Central.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/support/student_conduct/

Results

Results shown in iLearn, or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au.

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to improve your marks and take control of your study.

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Graduate Capabilities

PG - Discipline Knowledge and Skills

Our postgraduates will be able to demonstrate a significantly enhanced depth and breadth of knowledge, scholarly understanding, and specific subject content knowledge in their chosen fields.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Recognise and diagnose DSM disorders. Be able to differentially diagnose.
  • Know key demographic and epidemiological characteristics of the main disorders.
  • Understand the main psychological theories underlying the aetiology and maintenance of psychological disorders and the evidence supporting them.
  • Be able to choose a treatment based on the evidence that exists for a disorder.
  • Behave as a scientist-practitioner, a person who, for the remainder of their career, will integrate scientific findings into their practice in order to make informed mental health care decisions for their patients. A person who will only use theories backed by science to inform their practice and who will turn to science for answers when problems arise with helping a patient.

PG - Critical, Analytical and Integrative Thinking

Our postgraduates will be capable of utilising and reflecting on prior knowledge and experience, of applying higher level critical thinking skills, and of integrating and synthesising learning and knowledge from a range of sources and environments. A characteristic of this form of thinking is the generation of new, professionally oriented knowledge through personal or group-based critique of practice and theory.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Recognise and diagnose DSM disorders. Be able to differentially diagnose.
  • Understand the main psychological theories underlying the aetiology and maintenance of psychological disorders and the evidence supporting them.
  • Be able to choose a treatment based on the evidence that exists for a disorder.
  • Behave as a scientist-practitioner, a person who, for the remainder of their career, will integrate scientific findings into their practice in order to make informed mental health care decisions for their patients. A person who will only use theories backed by science to inform their practice and who will turn to science for answers when problems arise with helping a patient.

PG - Research and Problem Solving Capability

Our postgraduates will be capable of systematic enquiry; able to use research skills to create new knowledge that can be applied to real world issues, or contribute to a field of study or practice to enhance society. They will be capable of creative questioning, problem finding and problem solving.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Recognise and diagnose DSM disorders. Be able to differentially diagnose.
  • Understand the main psychological theories underlying the aetiology and maintenance of psychological disorders and the evidence supporting them.
  • Behave as a scientist-practitioner, a person who, for the remainder of their career, will integrate scientific findings into their practice in order to make informed mental health care decisions for their patients. A person who will only use theories backed by science to inform their practice and who will turn to science for answers when problems arise with helping a patient.

PG - Capable of Professional and Personal Judgment and Initiative

Our postgraduates will demonstrate a high standard of discernment and common sense in their professional and personal judgment. They will have the ability to make informed choices and decisions that reflect both the nature of their professional work and their personal perspectives.

This graduate capability is supported by:

Learning outcomes

  • Recognise and diagnose DSM disorders. Be able to differentially diagnose.
  • Understand the main psychological theories underlying the aetiology and maintenance of psychological disorders and the evidence supporting them.
  • Be able to choose a treatment based on the evidence that exists for a disorder.
  • Behave as a scientist-practitioner, a person who, for the remainder of their career, will integrate scientific findings into their practice in order to make informed mental health care decisions for their patients. A person who will only use theories backed by science to inform their practice and who will turn to science for answers when problems arise with helping a patient.