Why Q-interactive is the way to go

Today’s educational (as well as clinical, neuro and forensic) psychologists are under pressure to deliver high quality assessments to parents, schools and professionals, and need to plan their consultations and interventions with schools, young people, parents and other adults very carefully. They also need a good mix of assessment tools, interviews and observations to carry out their work and help them administer the assessments, score and interpret reports with ease. Q-interactive is a tool designed to help Psychologists do exactly that ensuring their work is of a high quality. 

Q-interactive has many unique features and benefits so let’s take a closer look at them: First and foremost, Q-interactive (or QI for short) is a digital tool offering professionals an assessment that flows seamlessly without the need to plan the details on paper. This not only saves time, but also facilitates the move to a paperless workplace without having to worry about the logistics of test administration.

Clients also favour the format requiring less paper, as many of them are comfortable using electronic equipment, even at a young age. Tom Long gives a very good example of a complex child with ADHD with a number of behavioural difficulties, who was not too keen on two paper/hard copy tests, but fully engaged with the iPad and completed the entire assessment.

The assessment confirmed that he is cognitively very able and didn’t need to be placed in a school for children with significant learning difficulties, which was deemed necessary until he experienced QI-based assessments.

Other benefits of QI include an easy set up and support materials, such as online tutorials. The programme is quite intuitive and some users don’t even need a tutorial, but when a rare glitch occurs, there is a telephone support system in place.

In the work environment, a more experienced colleague can often be of help to those who are using the tool for the first time. On average the programme can be up and running with a new set up within 40 minutes!

QI is also very easy to use – users can take advantage of a Practice Assessment feature which allows them to practise administration of subtests free of charge, but once the assessment has been set up and trialled, there are rarely any problems. Anyone new to iPads may feel a little anxious at the start, but your worries will quickly disappear as QI works even in remote areas with no Wi-Fi.

The set-up for assessment, the sync with the desktop QI site and interpretive reports always work with no difficulties.

QI’s other great feature is its flexibility and many users don’t even realise its full extent while administering subtests. Flexibility becomes more evident as the users become more familiar with the tool and are able to pick and choose subtests from a selection of the assessments available. For instance, subtests from both the WISC-V and the WIAT-III can be included in one battery to give a fuller picture of a child’s ability.

Automated assessment scoring is also worth mentioning – it is truly effortless, and some of the interpretative statistical analysis helps to interpret the tests, subtests and scales, providing ease of analysis for report writing and feedback to the client.

Another great feature is reporting - for example the QI report with the WISC-V is comprehensive, detailed and provides a wealth of information and help to validate interpretations and observations. QI reports are helpful for raising questions and undertaking detailed analysis of assessments with regards to relevant interventions for the clients, which are refined and backed up through normative assessments. 

Psychologists who already use QI have no hesitation in recommending this assessment to their colleagues, due to the ease of administration and the value this tool adds to their work.

QI is especially effective in supporting psychologists with the shift towards agile and mobile networking. The above post is based on the Q-interactive review by Tim Long, Educational Psychologist, which he did earlier this year, explaining why he recommends this assessment tool. If you'd be interested in writing your review of QI, please add your details to this form.

The clinical psychologists and neuropsychologists at the Cambridge Centre for Paediatric Neuropsychological Rehabilitation (CCPNR), who work with children and young people affected by brain injury through accident or illness, have also reported a leap forward since starting to use QI. They attributed it to the digital format, automatic scoring and robust technical support. Read the full review here.

  • Winner of the COT Pearson Award for education, research or CPD announced

    Samantha Armitage, a member of the British Association of Occupational Therapists (BAOT), has been named as the winner of the 2013 COT Pearson Award for education, research or continuing professional development. 

    Samantha has been qualified as an occupational therapist for eight years and has worked in paediatrics for six. Samantha currently works for East Cheshire NHS Trust as a community children’s occupational therapist.

    Read the full press release, and Samantha's reaction to the news.

    Following the announcement we caught up with Samantha to find out more about her background and how the COT Pearson Award will support her development.

    Can you tell us a bit about yourself, your background and training?

    I have been qualified as an Occupational Therapist for eight years and have worked in paediatrics for six years. I currently work for East Cheshire NHS Trust as a community children’s OT. As a paediatric practitioner I commenced post-graduate training in Sensory Integration Therapy four years ago, learning the foundations of theory, skills and evidence to guide practice when using the approach. I integrated knowledge and skills from this training into my NHS work to consolidate my learning, whilst also reflecting on the practical application of learning outcomes into the NHS environment through case studies, bringing together theory, evidence and practice.

    After a 12 month secondment to complete a Master of Research qualification, I have returned to practice and identified the need to develop more specialist services for children with Sensory Processing Disorders. Continuing my progress along the Sensory Integration post graduate training pathway, offered through the collaborate efforts of the Sensory Integration Network and The University of Ulster, will enable me to develop services in a methodological, specialised and evidence based way, ensuring children and families receive the most effective therapy and achieve optimum health outcomes. Winning the Pearson Award this year has allowed me to pursue this goal.

    What encouraged you to apply for the BAOT and Pearson Assessment award?

    As the NHS provide such eclectic health services, particularly in community paediatric settings, securing funding for developing more specialist areas of practice is difficult as resources are prioritised for learning and development which will be generalised across services. Resourcefulness is therefore needed to find ways in which these much needed specialist services can be developed. I saw the BAOT and Pearson Assessment Award through the announcement of annual awards in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy and saw an opportunity to apply for support in the CPD element of developing this service.

    Which course(s) will you be attending?

    I will be attending a course entitled ‘From Assessment to Practice’, the second module on the Sensory Integration post graduate training pathway. This modular pathway has been developed collaboratively between the Sensory Integration Network and The University of Ulster to offer a total of three modules of learning where specialist skills, knowledge and practice can be gained in Sensory Integration and academic recognition of learning is awarded. The learning outcomes for module 2 are based around the selection, utilisation and evaluation of assessment tools for practice including structured and unstructured clinical observations as well as use of the Sensory Integration and Praxis Test (SIPT), a standardised assessment tool. The module is split into two blocks of teaching, I will be attending my first block in June, complete two months of consolidation where I will apply learning to practice and return for the second taught week in September.

    Why did you choose these courses? 

    My interest in Sensory Integration started when I was a student OT on placement, in paediatrics, with an educator who was passionate about Sensory Integration and the role it has within child development. This spurred me to commence formal training in 2010 as a qualified OT. I was fortunate to be supported by East Cheshire NHS Trust in applying this training to practice, developing my understanding of Sensory Integration (SI) and my therapeutic practice.

    As my own understanding of the role of SI has developed, I have been able to recognize more clearly the needs of children with Sensory Processing Disorders and wish to continue to develop a service that can be responsive to these needs. The course selected allows me to build on my previous knowledge, ensuring my CPD is progressive in this area and will allow me to amalgamate research, evidence and practice ensuring knowledge and skills gained are current and evidence based, qualities which will be reflected in practice.

    What outcomes are you hoping to achieve?

    Specific learning outcomes are clearly related to assessing, identifying, diagnosing and differentiating Sensory Processing Disorders in children in order to recognize when Sensory Integration Therapy is indicated for intervention. These outcomes will be achieved through critically appraising the approach, ensuring appropriate selection in practice, reliably administering and analysing the SIPT and incorporating information gained into clinical reasoning, applying sensory integration techniques into assessment practices and through applying evidence, practice, experience and theory to the clinical process of diagnosis and treatment of Sensory Processing Disorder.

    Generalised outcomes are to improve the quality of services received by children with Sensory Processing Disorders and their families through providing evidence based, specialist services which are effective and able to optimize health outcomes.

    Congratulations Samantha, we look forward to hearing how your course goes later in the year. 

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