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National survey of psychologists' test interpretation training and practice: A mixed methods study

Kyle T Curry, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Over the past several decades, researchers have conducted many surveys regarding the use of psychological assessment instruments. These studies focused on instruments that psychologists typically used in clinical work. Thus far, no studies have examined the extent to which test interpretation (TI) feedback is provided to clients. This sequential explanatory mixed methods study explored TI feedback training and practices of practicing psychologists. Particular attention was paid to how test feedback is provided to clients, and whether TI feedback skills are being taught. Results suggest that psychologists are providing feedback to clients, but not consistently. Most respondents, 92.0%, indicated that they give verbal feedback at least some of the time, and 35% indicated they do so every time. Verbal feedback is more frequent than a written summary of test results, and raw data appears to be given in limited circumstances. A negative correlation between number of years since a respondent's degree was awarded and likelihood of providing verbal feedback was obtained for clinical psychologists (r = −.131, p = .019). Approximately one-third of respondents indicated that predoctoral coursework and practica were little to no help in preparing them to provide feedback. A similar proportion indicated that predoctoral internship provided little to no TI training. Training on providing TI feedback obtained in predoctoral coursework, practica, and internship was not correlated to actually providing test feedback. There was a significant correlation between postdoctoral trainings and providing feedback. ^ The qualitative portion of the study examined the typical reasons for not giving feedback to clients. The most frequently cited reason for not providing feedback revolved around using assessments in a forensic setting. In addition, the qualitative portion of the study addressed those individuals who provide feedback to clients but also indicated that their training was not helpful in learning this skill. Most of these individuals cited “trial and error” and self-instruction as the main ways in which they learned TI feedback skills. Implications and suggestions for training and practice are discussed. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Clinical

Recommended Citation

Curry, Kyle T, "National survey of psychologists' test interpretation training and practice: A mixed methods study" (2004). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3152603.