Psychometric testing of psychoactive drug effects in healthy volunteers plays an important part in the development of novel psychotherapeutic compounds. The development of a systematic database describing the effects of psychoactive drug effects on psychological test performance has, however, been restricted by a number of different factors. These include (i) the absence of a well defined model of performance to which psychometric test results can be related (ii) the failure of the pharmaceutical industry to adopt a core set of standardised procedures which could be used by different investigators and (iii) the use of assessment procedures which involve a number of discrete psychological processes without further disaggregation of test results.
Some of the implications of these issues are considered in the limited context of an investigation of 18 commonly used test procedures, drawn from a number of different laboratories under a range of drug and non drug conditions. The sensitivity of different subsets of the overall battery, when tests were analysed as unitary variables, was examined in three drug studies involving both novel compounds, placebo and positive controls. These studies concerned a benzodiazepine antagonist comparison, an anti-histamine comparison and an investigation of the alcohol potentiation effects of a novel anti-depressant. The extent to which more detailed information on drug effects could be provided by controlling for other tests, which were thought to measure similar aspects of psychological functioning, was also examined.
Factor analysis of two test subsets, utilising pooled pre dose data from a number of studies provided additional information on the structure of the test groupings examined. Similarly, the extent to which the dimensionality of the overall test battery could be reduced, whether or not test grouping could be related to discrete aspects of psychological functioning and information on practice effects, was also considered. The series of studies reported suggested that greater detail on psychoactive drug effects could be obtained by providing greater specificity of test function. The overall battery was reduced to eight different test groupings and additional information was provided which should allow battery usage to be further systematised.
|Item Type:||Thesis (PhD)|
|Keywords:||Ireland, psychological assessment, psychopharmaceuticals|
|Notes:||This thesis is only held in Queens University Belfast library|
|Accession Number:||HRB 3606 (Not in collection)|
|Subjects:||VA Geographic area > Europe > Northern Ireland|
HA Screening, identification, and diagnostic method > Psychological assessment
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