In this blog post, we go into detail on some of the features that we’re building for Myndplan. For a higher level overview – check out our website
If you are a mental health care provider – learn more about Myndplan and how it can compliment your practice.
We called the first version of our comprehensive mental health assessment tool the Multi-Axial Assessment Inventory, or MAI. We call the latest version the Matrix Assessment Inventory or Myndscan for short. It has a lot packed into it, all of it designed to help people in their efforts to get started on the path to understanding their symptoms and how to feel better, and to help therapists provide the best care as efficiently as possible. Here’s a sample of what’s in it:
Research domain symptoms
We are the first to break down users’ profiles using National Institute of Mental Health Research Domain Criteria Framework. We did this because Research Domain Criteria offers a system that can integrate information from just about any level of analysis. This means that we can easily add units of measurement that go beyond self-report as the scans develop, such as the kind of data people gather using a fitbit or heart monitor. It also makes it easy to translate scan results based on the findings of the latest cutting-edge research. To give just one example, we can directly translate our scan elements to neuroscience-based brain images.
Our own analysis of large datasets has been used to organize dozens of scan elements into several meaningful factors that explain a lot of the differences between individuals. These factors can be helpful in directing newer transdiagnostic approaches to treatment, such as David Barlow’s Unified Protocol for emotional disorders. Transdiagnostic approaches look at clusters of problems that all seem to share similar features and respond to the same treatment. For example, instead of treating panic, generalized anxiety, and phobias as different problems, a transdiagnostic approach groups these together and treats them using a common strategy.
Meaningful comparison groups
Most people are not psychiatric inpatients, aren’t attending college, and don’t just have a single diagnosis. Myndplan built its tools using real people with complex histories that typically can be found in primary care settings, like a doctor’s office, along with just plain healthy adults who work and occasionally surf the internet. Plus, men and women tend to score in very different ways on most measures. Myndplan allows users to choose the most relevant comparison group.
There has been an overwhelming amount of research conducted in mental health using census and other data that has been shown to predict things like the incidence of mental illness, risk of harm, and people’s response to treatment. Myndplan includes an intake that summarizes many of these findings and their potential relevance for each unique user.
Our feedback is automated to choose the most appropriate interpretations based on each user’s unique response set. Every profile is different, just like real people are.
Getting personalized feedback about the elements and factors underlying mental health or illness is only the start. Each narrative report includes recommendations to help users select from a wide assortment of Guides outlining DSM5 diagnostic categories. It’s like a self-help book that reads the user, saving a lot of wasted time learning about irrelevant problems, while helping to ensure that nothing gets overlooked.
Our guides look a lot like a friendly version of a diagnostic manual, but there are some important differences. For example, rather than simply listing off collections of symptoms, we explain how problems present and how symptoms tend to cluster. More importantly, we help users rank how accurately diagnostic criteria describe their own symptom patterns, and help them rate the impact this is having on their day to day functioning.
Explore and rate causes
Most experienced clinicians know that there are many different sorts of factors that contribute to mental health and illness. Our Guides describe a wide range of causes as well as evaluating the evidence underlying them. Users are encouraged to rank the extent to which each cause applies to their symptoms. This can help reveal both preferences and biases to guide treatment choices.
Research has provided us with estimates of effect size, number needed to treat, and other tools to help in choosing the best interventions. Often, combination therapies give the best results. Yet relatively few people are presented with more than one option for treatment, and even fewer understand how multifaceted change efforts can improve outcomes.
Build a treatment map
Myndplan is developing tools to collate each client’s functional assessments, causal assumptions, and treatment preferences to create customized treatment maps. Decision trees are highlighted to reveal some of the potential strengths and weaknesses of each choice.
We believe that neuroscience is a key tool for knowledge translation. By combining plain language explanations with vivid graphics, we bring the mind to life and help illustrate the psychology of just about everything that can be experienced. While no single model will ever account for each person or every diagnosis, neuroscience can help inform the learning experience and give therapists another useful tool for interpreting behavior.
The evidence is clear, tracking progress in therapy and session quality influences outcomes. We’ve automated the administration of some simple, quick monitors of common symptoms like anxiety and depression, along with a helpful measure of life satisfaction. Plus, we’ve done the research to uncover how to use the data. Did you know that some simple elements can predict treatment responders versus relapsers? Or that variability between sessions can be a useful indicator?
Myndplan puts clients in the driver’s seat when it comes to their personal information. Users build their own private record and control who has access. Clinicians can be invited to join using a unique access code. This gives people the ability to build a circle of care that can share in the change process regardless of where individual health practitioners work. The system works the other way as well – any health provider can invite their clients to join Myndplan. However, the client always retains control over their record and can withdraw access at any time.
Our secure chat feature allows for instant messaging within the Myndplan platform. This saves giving out personal emails and keeps the conversation within the secure client record. It makes it easier to keep communication lines open, particularly when providers are locked in behind firewalls in their own electronic record that limit client access.
Curious about learning more about the scans? Want to check out some of the research that went into constructing Myndplan? We’ve put together a detailed Manual that gives you the details.
Even the best efforts at knowledge translation can include baffling terms. Plus, on some occasions there simply isn’t a simple word to describe a more complex principle. Myndplan is building a comprehensive glossary to help users when they stumble over the meaning of a word or passage.