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  • 1.
    Egeland, Jens
    et al.
    Vestfold Hosp Trust, Norway ; Univ Oslo, Norway.
    Lovstad, Marianne
    Univ Oslo, Norway ;Sunnaas Rehabil Hosp, Norway.
    Norup, Anne
    Copenhagen Univ Hosp, Denmark.
    Nybo, Taina
    Univ Helsinki, Finland ; Helsinki Univ Hosp, Finland.
    Persson, Bengt A.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Rivera, Diego Fernando
    Surcolombiana Univ, Colombia.
    Schanke, Anne-Kristine
    Univ Oslo, Norway ; Sunnaas Rehabil Hosp, Norway.
    Sigurdardottir, Solrun
    Sunnaas Rehabil Hosp, Norway ; Univ Oslo, Norway.
    Arango-Lasprilla, Juan Carlos
    Cruces Univ Hosp, Spain ; Univ Deusto, Spain.
    Following international trends while subject to past traditions: neuropsychological test use in the Nordic countries2016In: Clinical Neuropsychologist (Neuropsychology, Development and Cognition: Section D), ISSN 1385-4046, E-ISSN 1744-4144, Vol. 30, p. 1479-1500Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective: Historically, the neuropsychological test traditions of the four Nordic countries have spanned from the flexible and qualitative tradition of Luria-Christensen to the quantitative large battery approach of Halstead and Klove-Matthews. This study reports current test use and discusses whether these traditions still influence attitudes toward test use and choice of tests. Method: The study is based on survey data from 702 Nordic neuropsychologists. Results: The average participant used 9 tests in a standard assessment, and 25 tests overall in their practice. Test use was moderated by nationality, competence level, practice profile, and by attitude toward test selection. Participants who chose their tests flexibly used fewer tests than those adhering to the flexible battery approach, but had fewer tests from which to choose. Testing patients with psychiatric disorders was associated with using more tests. IQ, memory, attention, and executive function were the domains with the largest utilization rate, while tests of motor, visual/spatial, and language were used by few. There is a lack of academic achievement tests. Screening tests played a minor role in specialized assessments, and symptom validity tests were seldom applied on a standard basis. Most tests were of Anglo-American origin. Conclusions: New test methods are implemented rapidly in the Nordic countries, but test selection is also characterized by the dominating position of established and much researched tests. The Halstead-Reitan and Luria traditions are currently weak, but national differences in size of test batteries seem to be influenced by these longstanding traditions.

  • 2.
    Egeland, Jens
    et al.
    Vestfold Hosp Trust, Norway ; Univ Oslo, Norway.
    Lovstad, Marianne
    Univ Oslo, Norway ; Sunnaas Rehabil Hosp, Norway.
    Norup, Anne
    Copenhagen Univ Hosp, Denmark.
    Nybo, Taina
    Univ Helsinki, Finland ; Helsinki Univ Hosp, Finland.
    Persson, Bengt A.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Rivera, Diego
    Cruces Univ Hosp, Spain.
    Schanke, Anne-Kristine
    Univ Oslo, Norway ; Sunnaas Rehabil Hosp, Norway.
    Sigurdardottir, Solrun
    Univ Oslo, Norway ; Sunnaas Rehabil Hosp, Norway.
    Carlos Arango-Lasprilla, Juan
    Cruces Univ Hosp, Spain ; Basque Fdn Sci, Spain.
    Questionnaire Use Among Nordic Neuropsychologists: Shift From Assessing Personality to Checking Ecological Validity of Neuropsychological Assessments?2017In: Professional psychology, research and practice, ISSN 0735-7028, E-ISSN 1939-1323, Vol. 48, no 4, p. 227-235Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The core method of neuropsychologists has been to collect structured samples of behavior through standardized tests. Information that cannot be elicited through tests may be gathered by questionnaires asking questions about behavior. Tests may deconstruct cognitive function precisely, but lack the ecological validity of questionnaires. Thus, many neuropsychologists have advocated more use of questionnaires, but it is not known whether professional practice has changed. Until recently, personality instruments were the only widespread questionnaires in frequent use among neuropsychologists. We studied the inventory use of 702 Nordic neuropsychologists. The most used questionnaires are listed, and differences between countries are analyzed. In addition, the questionnaires are grouped with regard to whether they map cognition, behavior not observable during consultations, emotional symptoms, personality, or are diagnostic tools. The study showed an average use of 8.4 questionnaires (SD 6.4), with a range from 4.5 in Finland to 11 in Norway. Emotional symptoms were most frequently assessed, closely followed by questionnaires of cognition. There was a very low usage rate of personality measures, even though the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI-2; Hathaway & McKinley, 1951) and other measures have been available in the Nordic countries for years. Questionnaire use correlated highly with test use. Frequency of assessment of neuropsychiatric disorders mediated high questionnaire use, whereas assessing patients with neurological conditions predicted below average use of questionnaires. The study indicates a shift from assessing personality to using questionnaires to check the validity of test results. The shift is probably mediated by the expansion of clinical neuropsychology into the field of psychiatry.

  • 3.
    Hokkanen, Laura
    et al.
    Univ Helsinki, Finland.
    Lettner, Sandra
    Hosp Sisters Char, Austria.
    Barbosa, Fernando
    Univ Porto, Porto, Portugal.
    Constantinou, Marios
    Univ Nicosia, Cyprus.
    Harper, Lauren
    Rivendell Tyrone & Fermanagh Hosp, UK.
    Kasten, Erich
    MSH Univ Appl Sci & Med Univ, Germany.
    Mondini, Sara
    Univ Padua, Italy.
    Persson, Bengt A.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Varako, Nataliya
    Lomonosov Moscow State Univ, Russia.
    Hessen, Erik
    Univ Oslo, Norway;Akershus Univ Hosp, Norway.
    Training models and status of clinical neuropsychologists in Europe: Results of a survey on 30 countries2019In: Clinical Neuropsychologist (Neuropsychology, Development and Cognition: Section D), ISSN 1385-4046, E-ISSN 1744-4144, Vol. 33, no 1, p. 32-56Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective: The aims of the study were to analyze the current European situation of specialist education and training within clinical neuropsychology, and the legal and professional status of clinical neuropsychologists in different European countries. Method: An online survey was prepared in 2016 by a Task Force established by the European Federation of Psychological Associations, and representatives of 30 countries gave their responses. Response rate was 76%. Results: Only three countries were reported to regulate the title of clinical neuropsychologist as well as the education and practice of clinical neuropsychologists by law. The most common university degree required to practice clinical neuropsychology was the master's degree; a doctoral degree was required in two countries. The length of the specialist education after the master's degree varied between 12 and 60 months. In one third of the countries, no commonly agreed upon model for specialist education existed. A more systematic training model and a longer duration of training were associated with independence in the work of clinical neuropsychologists. Conclusions: As legal regulation is mostly absent and training models differ, those actively practicing clinical neuropsychology in Europe have a very heterogeneous educational background and skill level. There is a need for a European standardization of specialist training in clinical neuropsychology. Guiding principles for establishing the common core requirements are presented.

  • 4.
    Melin, Eva O
    et al.
    Kronoberg County Council, Sweden;Lund University, Sweden.
    Thulesius, Hans
    Kronoberg County Council, Sweden;Lund University, Sweden.
    Persson, Bengt A.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health, Social Work and Behavioural Sciences, School of Education, Psychology and Sport Science. Kronoberg County Council, Sweden.
    Affect School for chronic benign pain patients showed improved alexithymia assessments with TAS-20.2010In: BioPsychoSocial Medicine, ISSN 1751-0759, E-ISSN 1751-0759, Vol. 4, no 1, p. 1-10, article id 5Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: Alexithymia is a disturbance associated with psychosomatic disorders, pain syndromes, and a variety of psychiatric disorders. The Affect School (AS) based on Tomkins Affect Theory is a therapy focusing on innate affects and their physiological expressions, feelings, emotions and scripts. In this pilot study we tried the AS-intervention method in patients with chronic benign pain.

    METHODS: The AS-intervention, with 8 weekly group sessions and 10 individual sessions, was offered to 59 patients with chronic non-malignant pain at a pain rehabilitation clinic in Sweden 2004-2005. Pre and post intervention assessments were done with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale (HAD), the Toronto Alexithymia Scale-20 (TAS-20), the Visual Analogue Scale for pain assessment (VAS-pain), the European Quality of Life health barometer (EQoL) and the Stress and Crisis Inventory-93 (SCI-93). After the group sessions we used Bergdahl's Questionnaire for assessing changes in interpersonal relations, general well-being and evaluation of AS.

    RESULTS: The AS intervention was completed by 54 out of 59 (92%) patients. Significant reductions in total TAS-20 post-test scores (p = 0.0006) as well as TAS-20 DIF and DDF factors (Difficulties Identifying Feelings, and Difficulties Describing Feelings) were seen (p = 0.0001, and p = 0.0008) while the EOT factor (Externally Oriented Thinking) did not change. Improvements of HAD-depression scores (p = 0.04), EQoL (p = 0.02) and self-assessed changes in relations to others (p < 0.001) were also seen. After Bonferroni Correction for Multiple Analyses the TAS-20 test score reduction was still significant as well as Bergdahl's test after group sessions. The HAD, EQoL, SCI-93, and VAS-pain scores were not significantly changed. The AS-intervention was ranked high by the participants.

    CONCLUSIONS: This pilot study involving 59 patients with chronic benign pain indicates that the alexithymia DIF and DDF, as well as depression, social relations and quality of life may be improved by the Affect School therapeutic intervention.

  • 5.
    Norup, A.
    et al.
    Copenhagen Univ Hosp, Denmark.
    Egeland, J.
    Vestfold Hosp Trust, Norway;Univ Oslo, Norway.
    Lovstad, M.
    Univ Oslo, Norway;Sunnaas Rehabil Hosp, Norway.
    Nybo, T.
    Univ Helsinki, Finland;Helsinki Univ Hosp, Finland.
    Persson, Bengt A.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Rivera, D.
    Cruces Univ Hosp, Spain.
    Schanke, A-K
    University of Oslo, Norway;Sunnaas Rehabilitation Hospital, Norway.
    Sigurdardottir, S.
    Sunnaas Rehabil Hosp, Norway;Univ Oslo, Norway.
    Arango-Lasprilla, J. C.
    Cruces Univ Hosp, Spain;Basque Fdn Sci, Spain.
    Education, training, and practice among nordic neuropsychologists: Results from a professional practices survey2017In: Clinical Neuropsychologist (Neuropsychology, Development and Cognition: Section D), ISSN 1385-4046, E-ISSN 1744-4144, Vol. 31, no Supplement 1, p. 20-41Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective: To investigate sociodemographic characteristics, clinical and academic training, work setting and salary, clinical activities, and salary and job satisfaction among practicing neuropsychologists in four Nordic countries. Methods: 890 neuropsychologists from Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden participated in an internet-based survey between December 2013 and June 2015. Results: Three-fourths (76%) of the participants were women, with a mean age of 47years (range 24-79). In the total sample, 11% earned a PhD and 42% were approved as specialists in neuropsychology (equivalent to board certification in the U.S.). Approximately 72% worked full-time, and only 1% were unemployed. Of the participants, 66% worked in a hospital setting, and 93% had conducted neuropsychological assessments during the last year. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, learning disability, and intellectual disability were the most common conditions seen by neuropsychologists. A mean income of 53,277 Euros was found. Neuropsychologists expressed greater job satisfaction than income satisfaction. Significant differences were found between the Nordic countries. Finnish neuropsychologists were younger and worked more hours every week. Fewer Swedish neuropsychologists had obtained specialist approval and fewer worked full-time in neuropsychology positions. Danish and Norwegian neuropsychologists earned more money than their Nordic colleagues. Conclusion: This is the first professional practice survey of Nordic neuropsychologists to provide information about sociodemographic characteristics and work setting factors. Despite the well-established guidelines for academic and clinical education, there are relevant differences between the Nordic countries. The results of the study offer guidance for refining the development of organized and highly functioning neuropsychological specialty practices in Nordic countries.

  • 6.
    Sivberg, Bengt
    et al.
    Lund University.
    Lundqvist, Pia
    Lund University.
    Johanson, Ingmarie
    Lund University.
    Nordström, Berit
    Lund University.
    Persson, Bengt A.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Screening of infants at eight months for atypical development in primary health care in southern Sweden2016In: Early Child Development and Care, ISSN 0300-4430, E-ISSN 1476-8275, Vol. 186, no 2, p. 287-306Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Screening studies of a population in primary health care are sparsely reported. The aim was to describe observed atypical behaviours that may be associated with autism spectrum conditions, in a population (n = 4329) of infants at eight months. Observations were performed by paediatric nurses. An observational instrument, named SEEK developed for child health care, was used focusing on social interaction, communication, motor skills, and an interview with parents. The analysis contains descriptive statistics, correlation analysis and a logistic regression model (cut-point 8 SEEK points). Infants scoring 8 points or more were observed a second time by psychologists and judged to be in the risk zone for atypical development. Delayed reaction to stimuli and preverbal language development were significant atypical behaviours together with deficits in communication skills, the latter more often among boys than girls. However, 7% scored 4 points or more indicating minor developmental problems. Catching early signs are crucial for both proactive care and intervention. © 2015 Taylor & Francis.

  • 7.
    Skeppar, Peter
    et al.
    Sunderby hospital.
    Thoor, Robert
    Sundsvall's Hospital.
    Ågren, Sture
    University Hospital of Umeå.
    Isakson, Anna-Carin
    Sunderby hospital.
    Skeppar, Ida
    Semmelweis University, Hungary.
    Persson, Bengt A.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology. Landstinget Kronoberg.
    Fitzgerald, M.
    Trinity Collegege, Ireland ; Medical Centre, Blanchardstown, Ireland .
    Neurodevelopmental disorders with comorbid affective disorders sometimes produce psychiatric conditions traditionally diagnosed as schizophrenia2013In: Clinical Neuropsychiatry, ISSN 1724-4935, Vol. 10, no 3-4, p. 123-133Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The knowledge in psychiatric genetics, neuroanatomy, functional neuroanatomy, neuropsychology, neuropsychopharmacology and clinical psychiatry, has immensely increased in the last decades. Here, the psychiatric conditions schizophrenia, affective disorders and autism spectrum disorder are discussed. Reported findings in relevant literature and our clinical experience in adult psychiatry in line with these findings, are subjects of this article. Disorders that in the last 100 years typically have been described as schizophrenia might today be better viewed as neurodevelopmental disorders (NDD:s), particularly autism spectrum disorder, combined with affective disorders. Also in affective disorders, without any signs and symptoms typical of a diagnosis of schizophrenia, NDD:s are very common, albeit generally less severe. The ensuing view on schizophrenia and on affective disorders respectively has very important and far reaching conceptual and clinical implications.

  • 8.
    Svensson, Idor
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Fälth, Linda
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of pedagogy.
    Persson, Bengt A.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Reading level and the prevalence of a dyslexic profile among patients in a forensic psychiatric clinic2015In: Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology, ISSN 1478-9949, E-ISSN 1478-9957, Vol. 26, no 4, p. 532-550Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study aims to investigate Swedish language reading ability of forensicpatients and the number of them that present a dyslexia profile. Anotheraim is to compare the reading level in different subtypes of psychiatricdiagnoses. Assessments were made of 185 patients by a battery of readingtests. They were also interviewed about their schooling and theirself-estimated reading and writing ability. The results show that thepatients’ reading level is below average for grade six children in Swedishcompulsory school, and that 16 per cent show a dyslexic profile. Malepatients with an immigrant background and a diagnosis of psychosis andanxiety disorders perform the lowest when measuring literacy skills. Thisproportionately low reading ability can cause difficulties in understandingtexts as presented in broadsheet newspapers, civic information and patientrecords, and might even jeopardize the understanding of adult spokenlanguage.

  • 9.
    Svensson, Idor
    et al.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Fälth, Linda
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of pedagogy.
    Persson, Bengt A.
    Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Nilsson, Staffan
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    The Effect of Reading Interventions among Poor Readers at a Forensic Psychiatric Clinic2017In: Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, ISSN 1321-8719, E-ISSN 1934-1687, Vol. 24, no 3, p. 440-457Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of a short period, 15 sessions, of reading interventions in a sample of adult forensic psychiatric patients: 61 patients with decoding difficulties – 44 in the experimental group and 17 in the comparison group – with an average age of 31.6 participated. Of these, 36% were female, and 29% had an immigrant background. The participants carried out a battery of reading tests. The results in the experimental group showed a medium effect size (d = .36 to .76) on all reading tests between pre- and post-test. The comparison group, however, showed no gain at all between the test occasions. The results indicate that a proportionally low reading intervention effort produces improvement in reading. This study discusses the importance of including reading assessment and offering remediation in order to reach optimal future social adjustment for patients in forensic clinics.

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