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Dr. Michael
Dr. Michael, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 2177
Experience:  Licensed Ph.D. Clinical Health Psychology with 30 years of experience in private practive and as a clinical psychology university professor.
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In layperson's language, will you interpret these scores:

Customer Question

in layperson's language, will you interpret these scores: BSI of 25, MMPI scale 4.4 at 67%, PAS scale 3.8, BDI of 28, and lastly the term"paranoid ideation"?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 7 years ago.
Hello. I believe I can be of help to you with this issue.

It would not be appropriate for any psychologist to provide you with an interpretation of these scores through a website such as this because the data have to be considered in light of a clinical interview and patient characteristics. An analogy would be for an auto technician to look at just the computer controls and try to determine the overall health of an engine; the controls simply provide one piece of the data in this 'puzzle'.

Also, some of the scores (e.g., brief symptom inventory, MMPI) can take on different meanings depending on the whether particular items that comprise a sub scale were elevated relative to others. For example, on scale 4 of the MMPI, a particular percentile score can be composed of a diverse combination of item that added together, make up that score. So a competent psychologist has access to research "sub scales of sub scales" on some of these tests, to better understand "why" the person scored in say, the 67%ile.

The answer to your question is: Please go back to the psychologist who administered this test battery and ask him/her to interpret these scores for you or allow you to see the write up of the report that used these scores to justify a diagnosis or form a treatment plan, or---whatever the data were used for. This is very important to you because there are different sets of test norms that can be used to discuss a particular patients' test scores e.g., they can be compared to women in large, research nonclinical group, outpatient group, or inpatient group. Therefore, what is perhaps more important here than the test scores per se is the particular frames of reference the psychologist used to compare your test scores against. Your real question should be, How did this Psychologist interpret this combination of test score data?

I hope this answers your question. Please let me know if I have overlooked anything in providing this response.

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Customer: replied 7 years ago.

not satisfied (I paid to be told to find out such informaiton from my own doctor). If knowing that was the case the response from the "expert" should have been "no need to see reply. We are unable to provide an answer to your question. Please feel free to ask a different question and we will attempt to provide a response."

I will be reporting this site to AmEx as well as BBB.


Esther Kaplan

Expert:  Dr. Michael replied 7 years ago.
To reiterate, it would have been unethical (meaning, technically illegal in my state) to interpret these test scores in the absence of the kinds of information I cited in my response. I alerted you to the fact that if any psychologist on this site had ventured an interpretation of these scores, you would have been the recipient of invalid nonsense from him/her. I also sought to inform you that in the event someone offered to accept payment for answering your question elsewhere, their action would be considered to be at best, ***** ***** at worst, exploitative. Finally, I sought to provide you with some guidelines that would strengthen your role as a consumer i.e., how to construe your question differently and the ways in which you can and should press the doctor to explain the norms used, and how the test scores interacted with other information he had, such as interview data.

Finally, you can seek a refund from the JustAnswer site and it will be readily provided.