Psychological testing is one of the most reliable standardized assessment tools used to evaluate the overall psychological condition of the person suffering from substance abuse disorder. The results of various psychological tests are used together with the results of the medical evaluation and other screening processes to create a more accurate clinical impression of the client.
While standardized tests are important prior to the formulation of a treatment plan, it should be noted that there is no single psychological test that will always be applicable in all situations considering the uniqueness of each client. This fact is highly acknowledged by our team of specialists here in Chiron, which is why they are diligent in reviewing and planning the most appropriate tests for each case. They have the skills and experience in adapting and combining various tests that will produce the most beneficial and highly useful results.
What are the Benefits of Using Psychological Tests?
Different assessment tools, like observation, interview, and medical evaluation, provide different advantages. The same holds true for psychological tests, here are the benefits that only psychological tests can provide in the screening and assessment phase of the recovery journey of patients with substance abuse disorder:
- Emphasizes the uniqueness of each patient. Psychological tests produce objective results that are vital in preventing misclassification of clients and compromising the interpretation of each test.
What are the Most Useful Psychological Test Instruments?
Some of the most useful and commonly used psychological test instruments by specialists include the following:
Addiction Severity Index (ASI)
This instrument is arguably the most widely used psychological test for substance abuse disorder. The test can generate information about the patient’s recent (past 30 days) issues and concerns relative to seven potential problem areas, to wit:
- Alcohol use
- Psychiatric status
Considering that ASI provides critical information on specific areas that should be targeted by treatment interventions, this test is highly relevant for planning and creating a treatment plan as well as in outcome evaluation.
Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI)
CIDI is useful in accurately diagnosing alcohol dependence, alcohol abuse, and alcohol withdrawal since this instrument assesses mental disorders according to the definitions and criteria of ICD-10 and DSM-IV.
Alcohol Use Disorder and Associated Disabilities Interview Schedule (AUDADIS)
Psychiatric Research Interview for Substance and Mental Disorders (PRISM)
PRISM was designed specifically to maximize reliability and validity among users of drugs and heavy drinkers. This assessment tool provides information on alcohol and drug related experiences and symptoms that can be used to create a more focused treatment plan.
Why is Selecting the Right Psychological Test Important?
While there are countless psychological tests available, it is important to note the importance of selecting the right instrument to yield the most relevant information. For instance, if the test administered merely focused on drug abuse history and nothing else then a patient who is seriously addicted to opiates (Patient A) will automatically believe to be in a far worse condition needing a more intense intervention than a patient who exhibits milder addiction (Patient B).
However, a skilled specialist will conduct a more thorough evaluation using ASI. Since this assessment tool looks at several problem areas, it was revealed that while Patient A suffers from serious addiction, he is still able to maintain (although imperfect) his interpersonal relationships and career. Patient B, on the other hand, completely lacks social support and is unemployed. Given the right psychological test, an accurate picture of the real needs of the patients was brought to light.