Abstracts of Volume Two of Computers in Human Services, 1987

Volume 2(1), 1987

A Review of Computer Diagnosis in Psychiatry with Special Emphasis on DSM-III by Harold P. Erdman, John H. Greist, Marjorie H. Klein and James W. Jefferson.

ABSTRACT: Several approaches to computerized psychiatric diagnosis (Bayesian probability, linear discriminate function, and logical decision tree) have been used in the past. Recently, however, computer programs have been developed to make DSM-III diagnoses. DSM-III's explicit criteria aid development of such programs, while DSM-III's complexity allows such programs to be clinically useful. Common characteristics of these programs are features that help to structure and shorten the user's interaction with the program. Examples of structuring aids include screening questions and incorporation of DSM-III's decision trees for differential diagnosis. These programs also include features that help users learn about DSM-III. The potential for such programs, as well as reasons why they may not be fully accepted, are discussed.

Simulating Policy Processes Through Electronic Mail by John P. Flynn

ABSTRACT: Computer-based simulations provide one vehicle for making theory on social policy come to life and for developing shared experiences. However, computerized simulations often involve extensive front-end technical work. Electronic mail offers an alternative method for constructing simulations. This paper focuses on the use of electronic mail for teaching and learning about social welfare policy processes and compares electronic mail as a simulation medium to more structured computer applications.

Computerization of Psychosocial Services in the General Hospital: Collaborative Information Management in the Human Services Department by John S. Lyons, Jeffrey S. Hammer, and Richard E. White

ABSTRACT: The present paper describes the process by which a multiple-level collaborative database system was designed. By clearly elaborating the various design goals it was possible to build a system through which ongoing program evaluation efforts can be easily managed without disrupting the service delivery process. At the same time, both departmental information needs and service-specific needs can be met in an efficient manner.

The Effectiveness of a Computerized Self-Help Stress Coping Program with Adult Males by James J. Smith

ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study was to determine if a computerized self-help stress coping program, based upon cognitive learning theory, IS effective in reducing stress in adult males. Thirty adult male juvenile counselors were randomly assigned to an experimental or non-participating control group. A computerized se f-help stress coping program was used over a five week period by those in the experimental group. As hypothesized, no differences were found between the groups on the variables of occupational environmental stress and trait anxiety. However, decreases in personal strain and state anxiety were found along with increases in personal resources. The factor of social support was found to account for the greatest amount of variance in all dependent variables. It was concluded that stress coping computer programs can provide some relief for situational types of stress.

Computer Content in Education for Human Services Administration by Rafael J. Engel and Steven L. McMurtry

ABSTRACT: The responsibilities of administrators in human service agencies require that they receive at least some training in computer use. This article reports on results of a survey of computer content in administration courses among 80 graduate schools of social work throughout the country and 207 instructors in these schools. Results show that 89% of schools offered one or more administration courses integrating content on computer use, and 43% of all administration courses reported included such material. Faculty rated computer training as very important and emphasized topics such as data analysis and data-base management.

Computer-Based Case Management for the Elderly by Stan Blazyk, Edward T. Wimberley, and Carla Crawford

ABSTRACT: A combination of economic, demographic, and political factors is pressuring health care providers into improving discharge planning and long-term care services for their clients, particularly the elderly and poor. Case management, with its emphasis on patient assessment, monitoring, and program evaluation, is one tool increasingly adopted to accomplish these goals. This paper examines the application of computer technology to case management and describes a computerized, hospital-based case management program for the elderly.

Computer Usage by Social Service Agencies in Santa Clara County, California by Roland M. Wagner

ABSTRACT: A survey of the extent of computerization in social service agencies in Santa Clara county, California, reveals some problems that are commonly experienced by organizations undergoing the transition to a computerized information system, and some recommendations for workshops to meet their needs.

Vol. 2 (3/4) 1987

Special Issues, Research in Mental Health Computing: The Next Five Years. Edited by John H. Greist, Judith A. Carroll, Harold P. Erdman, Marjorie H. Klein, and Cecil R. Wurster

Introduction and Prologue by by John H. Greist, Judith A. Carroll, Harold P. Erdman, Marjorie H. Klein, and Cecil R. Wurster

Brief Overview

Highlights of Presentations and Discussion

Issues in Research on Clinical Computer Applications for Mental Health by Kenneth S. Mathisen

The potential clinical role of the computer in mental health settings has been debated for several decades. On the one hand are those who enthusiastically point to numerous research studies demonstrating the potential clinical benefits-more accurate diagnosis, rapid retrieval of relevant clinical information, and even direct treatment-utilizing computer technology. On the other hand, skeptics simply ask, "If this is so helpful, where are all the clinicians who are using it?" This difference represents the basic paradox of clinical computer applications: Although numerous applications have been developed, and some have been rigorously tested and found helpful, there are very few that have been integrated into the daily activities of the practicing clinician.

Mental Health Computing: Directions for Research by James L. Hedlund

Acceptance and Utilization Problems

General Mental Health Information Systems

Medical Records and Quality Assurance

Research Needs

Special Clinical Applications


Trends in Information Technologies and Their Implications for Mental Health Research by Larry Travis

Computing as an Abundant Resource

Convergence of Information Technologies

Hardware Developments

Workstations and Personal Computers

Computer Networks

Artificial Intelligence Research

Expert Systems

Implications for Mental Health Research

Concluding Remarks

Research Activities and Their Methodologies in Mental Health Computing by Carole Siegel Mary Jane Alexander

Classification of Mental Health Computing Applications

Research Activities and Their Methodologies


Issues in Research on Clinical Computer Applications for Mental Health by Kenneth S. Mathisen

Clinical Applications

Barriers to Acceptance


User Resistance

Clinical Evaluation Research


Chronic Mental Illness and Computer Uses by Zebulon Taintor

Chronic Mental Illness

Basic Assumptions

Computer Needs and the NIMH Role

Computer-Based Patient Education by Lynda B. M Ellis

Present Status

Case Studies

Authoring Systems




Administration/Management Issues in Mental Health Computer Applications by Paul S. Sherman

General Methodological Issues

Exhibit 1. Illustrative Scale to Quantify Usage of System Reports

Organizational Variables

Impact of Microcomputers Utilization as an Independent and Dependent Variable

Empirical Studies of Successes and Failures

Increasing Clinical Applications

Psychological Testing and Interviewing

Research to Support New Applications

Implementing Computers in Mental Health Settings Judith K Larsen

Related Research

Diffusion and Implementation

Issues Needing attention

Research Approaches and Suggestions

Resources Needed

Recommendations for Future Research in Mental Health Computing by John H. Greist Judith A. Carroll Harold P. Erdman Marjorie H. Klein Cecil R Wurster

Research Priorities

Dissemination and Impact

The Funding and Review Process


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