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PSYCHOMETRIC TESTS

hen assessing your Non-English speaking patients using Psychometric Testing, there are some considerations you should have in place. You should be aware that not all the questions will be culturally applicable to your patient. Often psychometric tests have been developed with very western ideologies of mental health for mainly English speaking populations. The trouble with this is that the tests will not have been adapted for use by those patients who are non-English speaking and are not from westernised societies. Quite often psychometric measures have not been validated for this client group and are inappropriate to use as a comparative measure.

Psychometric tests should not be left for the interpreter to interpret to your patient. Where possible you should have these professionally translated. Language Empire will find a suitable translator who is highly qualified and has pre-existing mental health experience to translate these tests for you. This ensures your patient fully understands the tests and you can then get their results translated so you can give an accurate score. In this instance you should make efficient notes on your patients records stating you had these tests translated and what effect this may have upon the outcome of the test results. It is important to question if this method has helped to provide an accurate representation of your patient’s abilities.

Where you do use your interpreter to interpret the questions included on the tests, you are at risk of altering the meaning of the questions. Where there is no literal interpretation, the interpreter is required to try and explain the meaning to the patient using more words. Again this can lead to incorrect scoring. However if you are planning on using psychometric tests during your session with your patient, you should consider sending these as an attachment with your booking request to Language Empire. This way, when your interpreter is assigned to your appointment, these tests can be forwarded to the interpreter so they can have a look over them and make themselves familiar with the content before the appointment takes place. This will allow the interpreter to plan and consider the best ways in which to make you aware of any cultural difficulties that may impact this testing method.

You should be aware that due to psychometric tests being created for mainly English speaking westernised societies, your patient may have no existing knowledge of some of the questions you are asking them. For example, when asking which symbol represents the monarchy, your patient may have originally come from a country where there is no monarchy in place. Another example, when asking the patient to find the penguin, not all countries would know what a penguin looked like especially if they came from a hot, isolated part of the world where communication methods are nothing like they are in the UK. If tests of object recognition are going to be used, a separate meeting with the interpreter might be best where you go through the measure and find more appropriate objects. A full briefing before the appointment would also be the recommended procedure if you have to use cognitive, memory or other neuropsychological tests. The interpreter will need to be briefed on how to conduct themselves whilst administering a test as well as providing valuable cultural and linguistic insights. Changing tests will affect their validity and reliability.

You should be aware that not all questions included in your tests are culturally appropriate for you patient. Consider your patients social status and education level. Some patients may have had minimal or no formal education, however they may be able to demonstrate higher skill levels in daily tasks.

It is important to note that when working with non-English patients, psychometric tests may not always be the most appropriate method of testing to use.