What is the Guddi Way Screen?

The Guddi Way Screen is an online, secure and automated platform built from evidence and stakeholder consultation. The screen identifies cognitive impairment and needs within a culturally informed and validated process.

The Guddi includes culturally sensitive questions relating to cognition, thinking skills, disability and psychosocial functioning. Thinking and cognitive skills are measured across a number of cognitive domains including orientation, naming, verbal comprehension, verbal fluency, abstraction, recall, and executive function.

Being online, the interface ensures accessibility across Australia while safeguarding the cultural integrity of the screen and the quality of the screening process, scoring and reporting. Assessments span orientation, attention, language, memory, visuospatial skills, praxis and executive function.

If someone is flagged with possible cognitive impairment by the Guddi Way Screen, they can be referred to GPs, mental health professionals and supporting community organisations to be diagnosed and receive care, tools and systems to help them live positively with their brain injury.

Synapse's involvement

This is a great example of the way Synapse uses its research and evidence to give a voice to individuals and communities often frustrated by mainstream approaches that are culturally inappropriate and
often harmful.

Synapse has undertaken significant work over recent years to build the tool into an online, secure and automated platform to improve accessibility. This interface allows a suitably trained person to undertake the screening of a person face-to-face and in real time, with the immediate generation of informative reports. These are intended to guide understanding of the likely impacts of cognitive difficulties on a person as well as identifying necessary referrals, should further assessment or diagnosis be necessary.

The results

The Murri Court in Brisbane and Richlands are using the Guddi Way Screen for convicted Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to help the Magistrate understand a person’s capacity and how the court can support them better through the Murri Court process. Since it has been used by the court, 71 per cent of participants were flagged with impairments of at least one cognitive domain—primarily domains affecting social interaction, self-management and learning.

Capturing cognitive impairments this way can help us understand why some people fail to meet the requirements within judgement from our judicial systems. As a result, not a single person that had participated in the Guddi Way Screen had ended up with a custodial sentence to date.

The word ‘Guddi’ means ‘Come Home, Come Heal, Come Rest’ in the traditional language of the Kuku Yalanji peoples of Far North Queensland.