Assessment Tools and Diagnostic Tests in Adults and Children
When seeking to identify a patient’s health condition, advanced practice nurses can use a diverse selection of diagnostic tests and assessment tools;
however, different factors affect the validity and reliability of the results produced by these tests or tools. Nurses must be aware of these factors
in order to select the most appropriate test or tool and to accurately interpret the results.
Not only do these diagnostic tests affect adults, body measurements can provide a general picture of whether a child is receiving adequate nutrition or
is at risk for health issues. These data, however, are just one aspect to be considered. Lifestyle, family history, and culture-among other factors-are
also relevant. That said, gathering and communicating this information can be a delicate process.
In this Discussion, you will consider the validity and reliability of different assessment tools and diagnostic tests. You will explore issues such as
sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values. You will also consider examples of children with various weight issues. You will
explore how you could effectively gather information and encourage parents and caregivers to be proactive about their children’s health and weight.
Review this week’s Learning Resources, and consider the factors that impact the validity and reliability of various assessment tools and diagnostic
tests as well as examples of pediatric patients and their families as it relates to BMI.
Select one of the following assessment tools or diagnostic tests to explore for the purposes of this Discussion:
Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test
Body-mass index (BMI) using waist circumference for adults
Select one of the examples on which to focus for this Discussion. What health issues and risks may be relevant to the child you selected?
Overweight 5-year-old boy with overweight parents
5-year-old girl of normal weight with obese parents
Severely underweight 12-year-old girl with underweight parents
Use credible sources for resources explaining the tool or test you selected. What is its purpose, how is it conducted, and what information does it
What does the literature discuss regarding the validity, reliability, and are there any issues with sensitivity, specificity, predictive values,
ethical dilemmas, and controversies related to the test or tool?
Based on the risks you identified, consider what further information you would need to gain a full understanding of the child’s health. Think about how
you could gather this information in a sensitive fashion.
Consider how you could encourage parents or caregivers to be proactive toward the child’s health.
Post a description of how the assessment tool or diagnostic test you selected is used in health care. Based on your research, evaluate the test or the
tool’s validity and reliability, and explain any issues with sensitivity, reliability, and predictive values. Include references in appropriate APA
Post an explanation of the health issues and risks that are relevant to the child you selected. Describe additional information you would need in order
to further assess his or her weight-related health. Taking into account the parents’ and caregivers’ potential sensitivities, list at least three
specific questions you would ask about the child to gather more information. Provide at least two strategies you could employ to encourage the parents
or caregivers to be proactive about their child’s health and weight.
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