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Psychological Assessment


• Only tests whose psychometric properties suggest reliability and validity should be used (these properties will be reported in the manual which accompanies the tests). Where the only tests


available have poor content, criterion, test-re-test, or inter-rater reliability, their results should be interpreted with caution. (In practice, modern tests that have been accepted for publication and use have all established sufficient reliability and validly, but some old tests are still in use and should be examined carefully to ensure that this criterion is satisfied)


Assessment of clinical symptoms and syndromes Assessment of mood symptoms


It may be useful to take some psychometric measurement in addition to clinical assessment of the individual’s mood, as this may have a bearing on their current capacity to engage in clinical psychology assessment; it may also assist in understanding some of their behaviour at the time of an alleged offence and during subsequent police interviews and court hearings. Te Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), Beck Depression Inventory version two (BDI-II), and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) are all suitable measures in this regard.


Assessment of personality


No psychological assessment can replace thorough clinical assessment, including taking a collateral history, when attempting to assess personality. Personality assessments can be particularly susceptible to cultural validity problems as they were largely developed with Western cultural values. Tis does not prohibit the use of standardised tests, but indicates an advanced level of caution when interpreting the results. Commonly used personality assessments include:


• Millon Clinical Multi-axial Inventory – third edition (MCMI-III) • Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) • Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI)


Assessment of pre-morbid intellectual functioning


Tese tests are necessary in order to determine whether there has been damage to the brain by virtue of brain injury caused by: trauma, hypoxia, in order to exclude inherent poor functioning, and to determine whether, on other tests, change has occurred.


Pre-morbid psychometric measures have been developed following research observations that the ability to read, which is learnt early in an individual’s development, is less vulnerable to change following brain injury, decay and functional illness, than other abilities. Terefore, tests have been developed that use non-phonetic words (e.g. cough, gist, debt etc.). Valid and reliable tests have been developed that can estimate pre-morbid IQ with scoring that can be directly compared with measures of current functioning, as well as being compared with a normal distribution curve of data from a representative sample.


Given the re-calibration of intellectual functioning tests being completed every few years, due to the Flynn effect (the observation that IQ worldwide is increasing year on year), it is important to use the


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