Topic 10: Assessments for Career and Anxiety {by 7/6}

Post your responses to the Assessment Review Reflection Questions (Likes/Strengths, Dislikes/Weaknesses, Clinical Utility) for the following assessments: (1) Strong Interest Inventory, (2) Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), and (3) Panic Disorder Severity Scale (PDSS).

 

Your original post should be posted by 7/6.  Post your two replies no later than 7/8.  *Please remember to click the “reply” button when posting a reply.  This makes it easier for the reader to follow the blog postings.

25 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Madi
    Jun 29, 2020 @ 15:43:15

    1. Strong interest inventory
    a. I found this very confusing to look at on the surface level, but upon looking at it more in depth it became easier to look at. What confused me the most was that there were not questions that needed to be answered. I thought the graphics were easy to read and understand once I understood the lay out better. I thought the STD score as a bar graph and as a number made it easier to understand. The weakness of this is that it is initially overwhelming. But there is a great amount of clinical utility as anyone could benefit from it.
    2. BAI
    a. I found this test straight forward and easy to take. I liked the likert scale as it allows the client to indicate the severity of the symptoms. The test also was not long so the client would not feel burdened by taken it. There was strengths and weaknesses with the content of the questions. The question focus on both physiological and psychological symptoms, The questions are very short, which is both a strength and a weakness. The strength in this comes from the questions being easy to answer. But the brevity of the question does not allow for a lot of information to be gathered. As some of these questions could have to do with things that are not anxiety related.
    3. PDSS
    a. The ascetic of this test is not fantastic and could easily be a turn off for a client taking the test as there are a lot of words on each page. But, there are only seven questions. As a counselor I like this test because the questions are detailed and his at specific parts of a PD diagnosis. But as a client all of the words and the length of questions might be daunting. There is a great amount of clinical utility because the questions very much pinpoint key factors of PD. But it is done so overtly which makes it obvious what is being examined.

    Reply

    • Haley Scola
      Jul 03, 2020 @ 21:37:59

      Hi Madi,
      For the Strong Interest Inventory I completely agree with your point about being confused since there were no questions. I also like your point about the graphics, I forgot to mention that in my post but I did mention the color coordination and clear setup. For the Beck Anxiety Inventory I thought you did a really great job with your point of how it allows the client to indicate levels of severity. I also said the majority of item questions pertained to physical symptoms which I saw as a weakness and your point that some of the questions were related to anxiety. I wonder if they were trying to create blind control and have the client think it wasn’t an anxiety scale? For the Panic Disorder Severity Scale, I agree that as a clinician the questions hit specific parts of panic disorder diagnostic criteria. But I do disagree that the ascetic may turn some clients off. I think that either way it’s a short seven question assessment and they won’t really care about what it looks like.

      Reply

    • Althea Hermitt- Mcpherson
      Jul 07, 2020 @ 17:54:31

      I think the strong interest inventory looks confusing to you because we got the result of someone taking the test not the questions that were actually asked. I do agree with you that it is overwhelming as the inventory consists of 291 questions and will take a mighty long time to complete. I do like how the scores were represented, even though it was a lot and might need some assistance interpreting. I liked the BAI but I didn’t like that the BAI didn’t focus on worry instead it focused on physical symptoms of anxiety. Both scale are however helpful as they give us additional information on the client.

      Reply

  2. Francesca DePergola
    Jun 30, 2020 @ 23:42:03

    (Likes/Strengths, Dislikes/Weaknesses, Clinical Utility)

    (1) Strong Interest Inventory
    The Strong Interest Inventory looked like a very complicated instrument as it has many layers to it. This looks very intimidating, but I like the organization of the material. Overall, reading the sections and understanding this instrument was very interesting as I understood most of it and could also identify with some themes. I thought another strength was the clarification of the themes and their definitions as they seem to make sense and can be key to facilitate decision making. Finally, I also liked the visuals this test brings as well because it gives the client a visual to see where they are rather than using numbers or letters; more aesthetically pleasing. I do not like how it is expensive and how in most cases a computer program is required in which makes it more difficult for counselors due to the cost and time. Although there are downsides to this, it seems that this is an extremely valid and reliable assessment for careers and can be helpful to clients who have a difficult time deciding what their interests are. I think this has strong clinical utility as I have described, it seems to be a well-known and used instrument to help clients gain some clarity with a career path.

    (2) Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI)
    The BAI is an interesting instrument as most of its strengths can also be weaknesses? If that makes sense. I at least thought that the items were very short, which was good and easy to think about and pick the answer. On the other hand, because of its brevity, it might be hard to identify why the client is picking what type of severity whether it is for anxiety-related reasons or not. I think, “fear of the worst happening” is an anxiety-like item, but others like, “shaky,” might indicate other problems. The length of this instrument is medium, and I like that because it is not too long or too short, but because of the item length, I think it could have been longer. I think the validity being moderately and mildly correlated with other instruments can pose as a weakness, but it seems to have good reliability for internal consistency, but not so much for test-retest even after one week. The clinical utility seems to be okay as it is straightforward to take and score but might need to be modified slightly for better reliability/validity. Do others agree? Maybe I am being too critical! Let me know. 🙂

    (3) Panic Disorder Severity Scale (PDSS).
    The Panic Disorder Severity Scale does a great job of assessing the key factors of panic disorder. I think that it is a great instrument for a counselor because of its detailed questions and answers, yet only 7 items. Although, if I were the client taking this assessment and there is a chance, I have panic disorder, I think this would make me overwhelmed very easily. Its set-up looks like an educational test. The questions are not brief, and neither are the answers, but the only up-side is that there are only 7 of these. So, I do not know if breaking them apart to make a 14-item test or if keeping it the same would look less intimidating. I think another strength are the examples given in the items that help the client understand the questions better. The scoring seems straightforward and I like how they differentiate between panic disorder with agoraphobia and without. This instrument has decent clinical utility as it appears easy to take, administer, and score.

    Reply

    • Haley Scola
      Jul 03, 2020 @ 21:49:31

      Hi Francesca,
      For the Strong Interest Inventory, I thought it was very insightful that you mentioned you resonated with some of the themes, as did I. I definitely agree that its aesthetically pleasing, especially compared to all the other assessments we’ve encountered in this course so far. I didn’t even notice the pricing or how the clinician has to get the program to give this assessment so I completely agree that these are weaknesses. For the Beck Anxiety Inventory, I’m on the exact same page as you and do NOT think you’re being over critical (I also really liked that you asked a question because it made replying to a post for psychological assessments a lot easier). I had the same critiques. I think the items were overly focused on somatic symptoms and didn’t ask nearly anything about emotions and cognitions. I also think your point that the validity being moderately and mildly correlated with other instruments is a weakness and I think it has to do with the item’s on it. When I first went to take it I was genuinely confused because it’s called an anxiety inventory but I felt it little to none of the diagnostic criteria. And finally for the Panic Disorder Severity Scale, I also thought that the detail of the questions and scales were extremely beneficial to the clinical utility of the test. I understand your point that the questions were long which could be a turn off but I also agree that since there’s only 7 questions it’s definitely weights that out.

      Reply

    • Madi
      Jul 07, 2020 @ 09:38:54

      Hi Francesca,
      I completely agree with you about the Strong Interest Inventory and how it was very intimidating at first. But once you were able to read through it, it because much more understandable. Regarding the BAI I also agree about most of its strengths are also its weaknesses. I am finding this trend a lot with the assessments. For I take the point of views of the client and either like or dislike it and then the opposite is true when I look at it from the point of view of the counselor.

      Reply

    • Michelle McClure
      Jul 07, 2020 @ 20:54:08

      Hi Francesca! I also like how the Strong Interest Inventory is aesthetically appealing and I feel like clients would also like the visual appeal and the clarity they bring to the assessment. I agree with you the Beck Anxiety Inventory was not as descriptive as it could have been and it probably should have been longer. I also agree that clients with panic disorder get easily overwhelmed. I still think that the Panic Disorder Severity Scale is a good instrument to use with clients with panic disorder because it measures the severity and the agoraphobia.

      Reply

  3. Haley Scola
    Jul 03, 2020 @ 21:28:54

    Strong Interest Inventory
    Upon first glance this scale was very intimidating to me. The fact that it had no questions was very confusing to me until I kept looking. Something I really liked about this scale was how organized it was. I gave clear and concise instructions and descriptions which was really helpful. Another thing I liked was that it was color coded. This assessment has a lot of information on it so I think the color added a lot of clarity and made it easy to follow. The last thing I really enjoyed was the vast array of occupations as well as the description telling you the educational preparation needed for that specific occupation. The only thing I didn’t was how flustering it is at first glance. If you have a client with maybe ADD or ADHD it may be difficult to have them concentrate on the assessment for periods of time due to its length. In terms of clinical utility, I think this assessment can be very beneficial to many groups of people. I think it’s easy to follow along that a diverse amount of people could use it in figuring out their potential career choices. I also think that they put an array of categories that it was very inclusive.

    Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI)
    Something I thought was a strength was how straightforward and clear this assessment was, for both the clinician administering it and the client taking it. The questions were direct and to the point and it was nice and short. Something I think is a very big weakness to this assessment was how it focused mostly on the somatic symptoms and only 3/21 pertained to cognition’s rather than any of the vital emotional symptoms for diagnosing an anxiety disorder. The clinical utility is a matter of if you already know your client is displaying the emotional symptoms through the therapeutic discussions. If not you’re simply measuring the physical symptoms which could be a diagnosis for many other conditions.

    Panic Disorder Severity Scale (PDSS)
    I thought the items were straight forward and concise. The options for the scales were very descriptive for each question which I considered a huge strength. Something I thought was a weakness was how it’s completely self-report. I feel that because it tells the person taking it right away how many of the symptoms they need to have of the following listed, it removes any blind control of the assessment. This allows for the client to fix their answered based on what they want you to think rather than if it’s the actual truth. Due to the weakness I previously mentioned I think the clinician utility may be low. It depends on how truthful your client will be since it is completely straight forward about what is it measuring. I did think the clear setup, items, and descriptions for scales added clinical utility though.

    Reply

    • Francesca DePergola
      Jul 05, 2020 @ 20:45:15

      Hey Haley,

      You do a great job of pointing out the details that set this instrument apart from the others. The color-coding, education levels, and the overall general aesthetic of it were what I was thinking about when I mentioned this point. I think you are right when mentioning the part where it might be beneficial for most groups of people, it may be hard for those with something like ADD or ADHD. With regards to your feedback about the PDSS instrument, I thought you brought up points I had not thought about. I am not sure if I agree, but I think you bring up things worth assessing. An example of one of the points is how you mentioned it is important for the counselor to get to know the client and to make sure they are being “truthful.” I guess I can sort of see how a client might not be honest since the questions are very in-depth and might take a lot of concentration for the client to answer properly. Overall, I always enjoy reading your posts because they go a little more in-depth with your answers and you always give great examples to strengthen your points!

      Reply

  4. Selene Anaya
    Jul 04, 2020 @ 14:35:31

    1. Strong Interest Inventory
    I remember taking this in high school and I really like how they offer so much information based on what was answered. I think the major strength of this inventory is the fact that there is so much information that can be gathered from it and it is still widely used meaning it is reliable. There are six broad areas that include descriptions of interests, work activities, skills, and values which is definitely a strength of the assessment. There were also many visuals that offered examples of how the assessment of scores may be presented. The profile does look very confusing and there is a lot of information to process but with time to become familiar with it and after reading it, it quickly became easier to understand. Knowing that a lot of education systems use this inventory on computers, the cost is probably high. I know from personal experience that some of the careers that come up after you take the inventory can be discouraging if you are not interested in any of them. That is where the importance of communicating the results would come into play. This inventory is widely used meaning that the reliability and validity are strong. I think it has the power to get students excited about their future and see what careers they could possibly play a part in especially if it is something they are interested in.

    2. Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI)
    The scoring procedure looks fairly easy to complete. I also like the answer choices. Most assessments simply put “mildly”, “moderately”, or “severely” leaving it up to the client to decide what that means for them. This assessment says “mildly” and also says under it “It did not bother me much” giving an explanation for what that answer choice means so it can be somewhat controlled for everyone who takes it. I thought it was interesting that pretty much the entire assessment was based on physiological symptoms with some psychological ones. I think it would be important to include longer items that ask about situational experiences. There are also a lot of items on the list that can be taken as the same thing such as “terrified” and “scared”. It is hard to know which symptoms that are indicated by the individual to be experienced are anxiety-related or caused by something else. As for the clinical utility of the assessment, it was found that internal consistency reliability is strong, but the test-retest is not. There are definitely many areas in which the inventory can be modified which can improve its reliability and validity. The assessment can be given to individuals of almost any age because for the little ones, even talking through it, physical symptoms are much easier to notice for them. There must be further assessments that look at emotional and other symptoms that the patient may be experiencing that may are indicative of anxiety rather than just diagnosing based on this assessment that looks at mostly somatic symptoms.

    3. Panic Disorder Severity Scale (PDSS) – Self Report
    Although the assessment was long and seems overwhelming at first, every question and answer response is very descriptive and makes it clear about what is being asked. The scoring seems pretty straightforward, easy, and quick to complete. I can see how this assessment can be very helpful for clinicians to rate the severity of those with the disorder. There is a lot to read for this assessment and it can be a bit overwhelming. When I was taking the assessment, I found that what I was experiencing was not an option for some of the questions. For example, limited symptom episodes have been experienced, but not once a day so my response would have been between 0 and 1 if there was an option for that. There is also a mix of describing the answer choices more thoroughly and not. For example, I found myself wanting a better description of what frequently or moderately means especially when the questions before do that. I also am a bit wary of the label for the scores such as “slightly ill”, “moderately ill” and “markedly ill”. There are definitely other labels that can be used. It was noted that the assessment has good reliability and validity, but more research needs to be done with more diverse groups of patients with PD. I think this assessment would be helpful for individuals who already have PD and clinicians want to use it to evaluate the severity of the disorder and the degree of impact it has on the individual’s life.

    Reply

    • Francesca DePergola
      Jul 05, 2020 @ 20:57:45

      Hi Selene,

      I think it is interesting that you took this instrument and high school and were able to give some great feedback! When you mentioned the part of seeing some of the careers as discouraging, was not a thought that popped into my mind as something that could happen when taking this. When you mentioned that aspect and added that it is so important to communicate results, it really shows the importance the counselor has in this process. Communication, we may think, is either easy or unnecessary. People tend to undermine the importance of it, which is unfortunate. In these situations though, we can learn how influential it is if a counselor conveys a message to a client in a way that will impact them positively. I think what you say about the BAI is important too. I was thinking the same thing about the origin of some of those items. Is a person rating these items because of anxiety or a medical issue? I found that most of those items were necessary to assess anxiety, but I think more psychological items could have been added.

      Reply

  5. Althea Hermitt- Mcpherson
    Jul 05, 2020 @ 23:25:32

    Post your responses to the Assessment Review Reflection Questions (Likes/Strengths, Dislikes/Weaknesses, Clinical Utility) for the following assessments: (1) Strong Interest Inventory, (2) Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), and (3) Panic Disorder Severity Scale (PDSS).

    (1) Strong Interest Inventory

    Likes/Strengths: The Strong interest inventory provides insight into individuals’ personal interest with regards to career, work satisfaction, and educational path. It also sheds light on personality. The instrument is well established and was implemented in 1927. It compares individuals to a norming group of people already in that career. It measures six interest patterns that describe an individual’s work personality based on their values, work activities, and skills. These general occupational themes are broad and explore individuals’ interest in essential areas such as social, realistic, artistic, investigative, enterprising, and conventional. The inventory compares females’ scores to other females’ score, therefore, taking gender differences into consideration. This inventory is updated frequently to reflect changes in the world of career and interest.

    Dislikes/Weaknesses: The strong interest inventory has 291 questions and takes about 40 minutes to complete which I think is too long, but if your entire life and employment satisfaction depend on it then it might not be that bad when you put things into perspective. The strong interest inventory has too many questions and is very complicated to score and interpret due to the numerous themes. Scores could be easily misinterpreted and people venture into educational and career paths that are not ideal. It requires a trained professional to interpret scores. The strong interest inventory can be affected by emotional events that occur with the individual taking the test thus giving results that are off.

    Clinical Utility: The strong interest inventory is well established and has been proven to be reliable and valid, it also has proven to be reliable and accurate in its matching of career to interests.

    (2) Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI)

    Likes/Strengths: It’s a self-report instrument that is short and has only 21 questions which will take between 5-10 minutes to complete. It’s used to measure the severity of anxiety and can be used with children and adults 14 to 80yrs. The BAI is easy to complete, score, and interpret due to the simplicity of scoring scales. The BAI is offered in various languages. The questions are simple and easy to understand.

    Dislikes/Weaknesses: The BAI mostly focuses on the physical symptoms of anxiety and not so much on the worry and catastrophic thinking associated with anxiety disorders. The BAI only measures anxiety within the last week and therefore doesn’t discriminate between past and present anxiety. The BAI scale does not adequately differentiate between depression and anxiety as it seems to measure the severity of depression.

    Clinical Utility): The BAI assessment is short and easy to score. Also, construct validity and test-retest reliability and internal consistency is high. The BAI shows good discriminant validity.

    (3) Panic Disorder Severity Scale (PDSS)

    (Likes/Strengths: It’s a self-report instrument that is short with 7 questions which will take less than 5 minutes to complete. The scale is used to detect and measure panic disorder, it focuses on frequency, anticipatory anxiety and the severity level of functioning. I liked that it took into consideration the DSM-5 Symptoms and explained what a panic attack is at the beginning of the scale. The 5 point scale gives more variability in answering each question. The scale is meant for use after diagnosis. The scale is sensitive to change and can be used throughout the therapy.

    Dislikes/Weaknesses: The PDSS only measures Panic severity within the last week and therefore doesn’t discriminate between past and present Panic. The test is not diagnostic and therefore requires further assessment. Scoring and interpretation is complex and can be easily confusing. The questions are wordy.

    Clinical Utility: The scale is easy to administer, score, and interpret. Inter-rater reliability and internal consistency are high.

    Reply

    • Dawn Seiple
      Jul 08, 2020 @ 21:07:17

      Hi Althea,

      I definitely learned a few things about the Strong Interest Inventory from your post. I did not realize it had been used for so many years. It really is a well-established test. As you noted, it takes a while to complete, but it must be helpful or it wouldn’t have been in use for so long. I completely agree that it is most worthwhile when it is interpreted by professionals trained to understand the results. Though they try to make the data easier to read and comprehend by making it very visual, it is still overwhelming.

      I was interested to learn that the females are compared against other females and males against males. I wonder if, over the years, this encouraged women to go into traditionally female occupations and the same for men. Women might not have been presented options in STEM because there were not a lot of women in those fields. Men might have been routed away from teaching or nursing. I am interested to know if and when the SII migrated away from using gender stereotypical models.

      As for the BAI, there was some overlap with depression symptoms. As you noted, it has good discriminant validity, so it should clearly differ from a depression inventory. I am curious how anxiety and depression inventories deal with this problem of shared features.

      Reply

  6. Michelle McClure
    Jul 06, 2020 @ 14:22:39

    1. Strong Interest Inventory
    Strengths-This was an assessment I actually took as an undergrad. It brought back memories and I recall I did score very high in social and artistic themes and counseling/helping professions was on my areas of interest along with religion/spirituality and I do not remember the others. I remember I enjoyed taking the assessment. Looking at the example assessment I really enjoyed the colorful categories of the themes and how the results are also color coded. The six themes include social, artistic, enterprising, conventional, investigative and realistic. I also like how they further break down the themes into possible career choices. I really like how in the example they highlighted the top 5 areas of interest as well as the areas of least interest. I like that this assessment includes areas of least interest because I think that knowing what you would most likely not like doing is a good step in finding what you do like to do. The occupational scales portion I think is when the assessment starts to look and feel more confusing. This portion is measuring how similar or dissimilar your interests are are to others of your gender who are working in various occupations. The personality scales is more about measuring your preference for different working environments and working styles. At the end it gives you a nice summary of all the information.
    Weaknesses- Some people may find this assessment long and/or confusing.
    Clinical Utility- I personally think this is a great assessment and very helpful when young adult/ adolescent clients are looking into possible future career choices. I would think this assessment would be a staple in a career counselors therapeutic/assessment toolbox.
    2. Beck-Anxiety Inventory (BAI)
    Strengths- The assessment is easy to take and easy to score. The assessment is very straight forward and the items are very clear with what is being measured. The assessment also has a high reliability as well as a good validity score.
    Weaknesses- The assessment focuses more on the physical symptoms of anxiety then the emotional symptoms. The assessment also gives no further explanation on the items further describing the symptoms or what the symptoms look/feel like.
    Clinical Utility- This assessment is also easy to administer and the client can complete it quickly which as well as being another strength also makes the assessment valuable in many clinical settings including inpatient and outpatient treatment centers. I feel like this assessment would have its uses in clinical practices, especially if you know a client has anxiety but are trying to measure the severity of the anxiety.
    3. Panic Disorder Severity Scale (PDSS)
    Strengths- The assessment clearly states what constitutes a panic attack and provides a list of symptoms. The items were clear and made clearer by the above description. The assessment has excellent reliability and good validity. This assessment also measures agoraphobia.
    Weaknesses- The biggest weakness for me is that the scoring and the meaning of the scoring was very confusing at first.
    Clinical Utility- This assessment would be most helpful when working with clients with established diagnosis of panic disorder or that experience panic attacks to determine the severity of the panic attacks. The assessment also measures with or without agoraphobia which would also make this assessment valuable to mental health clinicians.

    Reply

    • Selene Anaya
      Jul 07, 2020 @ 17:59:18

      Hi Michelle!
      I also took the strong interest inventory in the past and I think it is really cool that you remember what you scored high in. I have always liked taking inventories that give me a deeper insight into who I am or what I like. I mentioned in my response that the visuals were very helpful in understanding, and I think the added color coding could be especially helpful for people to navigate the results. That is something I did not think to add to my strengths. I also like how you mentioned the importance of not only the high-interest categories but also the least interest categories because that could be especially helpful for some individuals. I did mention that this can possibly be discouraging for some if they see that the career they were planning on pursuing ends up being the least likely. Still, I like how much information is given from this inventory. When we are specifically thinking of career counseling, this inventory is very helpful for students and/or adults. For the BAI, I agree that it focuses a lot on the physical symptoms that the individual may be experiencing. I would have liked to also see more descriptive items especially because there are many feelings or emotions that may mean the same thing to some people, and something different for others. Finally, for the PDSS, I agree that it can be very helpful for assessing the severity of the attacks. I have always thought that assessments that assess severity are automatically much better. I think it is an important factor to consider because every person is different.

      Reply

    • Yen Pham
      Jul 07, 2020 @ 23:57:10

      Hi Michelle,

      I agree with that the limitations of BAI scale is focused more on the physical symptoms of anxiety then the emotional symptoms. However, I think that the BAI may be also less sensitive to symptoms secondary to medical or other trauma, more sensitive to panic disorder than it is to the symptoms of other anxiety disorders, and may need separate norms for males, females, and more ethnically/socioeconomically diverse samples. In addition, I like your points on the clinical utility of BAi scale that I have forgot to mention in my posting. I agree with you that this scale is convenient for both inpatient and outpatient treatment centers. However, I also think this scale can be used to assess and establish a baseline anxiety level, as a diagnostic aid, to detect the effectiveness of treatment as it progresses, and as a post-treatment outcome measure.

      Reply

  7. Trey Powers
    Jul 06, 2020 @ 15:54:20

    1. Strong Interest Inventory
    Likes/Strengths
    I found this instrument’s results to be very interesting and informative. I was amazed by the amount of information that this one instrument was able to gather, and the recommendations that it was subsequently able to provide. It seems as though this instrument has the capability of providing a great deal of insight for a client into many different areas of their life that they may not have been aware of. Additionally, it can show visually how important various elements of the person are. I especially liked how, based on the information provided, the instrument compared the person’s results with others’ results in various fields to show how the person’s interests and skills aligned with various other professions.
    Dislikes/Weaknesses
    To gather all of this information, there are a large number of questions, which will likely take a considerable amount of time to complete. Also, while I thought that the information presented was interesting, I can certainly see how it could be completely overwhelming for the client, especially if they have anxiety or an attention problem. Even going through the results with the client would likely take a great deal of time, and may potentially result in confusion regardless.
    Clinical Utility
    I view this instrument as being a very good tool for individuals who are either completely stuck in terms of occupational selection, or those who have absolutely no idea what they would like to do for work. Outside of these individuals, it seems as though it would be excessive to administer this to someone who has a general idea of where they would like to work, but not as to a specific occupation. Even outside of choosing an occupation, however, I believe this provides useful insight for a person to explore themselves on a personal level as well.

    2. Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI)
    Likes/Strengths
    This instrument is simple to understand and easy to fill out. There is some useful information provided for the counselor in terms of reliability and validity, and the scoring is very easy to do. I also appreciate that it offers a range of possible responses from not at all to severely so that clients can more accurately describe their symptoms.
    Dislikes/Weaknesses
    I found most of the statements were quite extreme. I myself have been diagnosed with anxiety, yet according to this instrument, I have barely any anxiety at all. This instrument also appears to focus mainly on physical symptoms rather than psychological symptoms, which I also do not agree with.
    Clinical Utility
    I think this instrument would be good for identifying intense anxiety, or possibly even panic attacks/panic disorder, but not something like GAD. The statements are simply too severe to catch the more subtle aspects of anxiety, such as nervous habits, fear of the unknown, racing thoughts, rumination, etc.

    3. Panic Disorder Severity Scale (PDSS)
    Likes/Strengths
    This instrument was good overall. I thought that listing the symptoms in the very beginning was helpful to have them in mind while completing the instrument. Additionally, the questions seem to address all the requisite elements for a diagnosis of panic disorder. Many of the questions gave examples or other description for answering them.
    Dislikes/Weaknesses
    I found the questions to be slightly long. While the information provided may be useful, I think it can also be confusing, especially the questions that specified things like “if no, then…”.
    Clinical Utility
    I think this is a useful tool for those who may be suffering from panic attacks and/or panic disorder. It surveys all the necessary elements for diagnosis, and indicates the severity of the symptoms being experienced.

    Reply

    • Madi
      Jul 07, 2020 @ 09:43:52

      Hi Trey,
      You pointed out a lot of things about the Strong Interest Inventory that I did not think about regarding the weaknesses. I did not think about the time it would take to gather all of the information. I thought this was a very important and insightful point. Regrading the BAI I appreciated your openness about your person diagnosis. I think by doing so you were able to truly shed light on a big weakness of the test which is the extreme level of anxiety that one has to score. For PDSS I also liked how the list of the symptoms was at the beginning. I think this assessment shows that many components needed to be considered when creating an assessment. For I also agree that the questions were confusing and too long.

      Reply

    • Dawn Seiple
      Jul 08, 2020 @ 22:05:31

      Hi Trey,

      Your comments about the SII got me thinking about my occupational journey. Unlike a lot of people who took this or something similar in high school or college, I did not, and definitely could have benefitted from it. When I was young, I thought I knew what I wanted to do. I thought I wanted to be lawyer. Quite truthfully, I don’t think I really understood what a lawyer did. I also did not have a good understanding of what my actual skills and interests were. I thought I did, but only later when working at a law firm did I realize I didn’t like the actual work and wasn’t well suited for it. While I found my way into something I did like, I am only now coming back to what I was probably meant to do. I am a person that would have benefitted from such an interest inventory but wasn’t exposed to it. At the same time, as others have commented, sometimes the results can be discouraging, especially if they do not align with what you are aiming towards. In this sense, the results could be somewhat difficult for those who have a set path in mind. Ultimately though, I think having your ideas challenged is worthwhile.

      I also agree with your point on the BAI. I think some people have more somatic symptoms and some have more cognitive symptoms. This definitely doesn’t address as many cognitive symptoms and might be better at assessing individuals with panic disorder and could miss people who have GAD.

      Reply

  8. Yen Pham
    Jul 06, 2020 @ 18:53:19

    Strong Interest Inventory (SII)

    This scale is helpful for giving insight into a person’s interests, so that they may have less difficulty in deciding on an appropriate career choice for themselves. This scale is appropriate for high school students, college students and adults. In other words, the advantages of using an interest inventory revolve around helping people make educational and career plans. They are designed to help people match their interests with occupational, educational and leisure pursuits. These assessment tools can point individuals in the direction of areas of study or work that they may find enjoyable and satisfying. I like the systematic and meticulous division of 6 sections are occupations, subject areas, activities, leisure activities, people, and their characteristics. The instructions for each section are clear. However, the Strong Interest Inventory contains 291 items and will take between 35 to 40 minutes to complete. So it is long for someone. Scoring of this scale also is somewhat complex. The reports are complicated, and they can easily be misinterpreted and require a trained expert to interpret is important.

    Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI)

    I like this scale because it is short, clear, reliability and validity with a 21-item multiple-choice self-report. The items in the BAI describe the emotional, physiological, and cognitive symptoms of anxiety but not depression, it can discriminate anxiety from depression. Each of the items on the BAI is a simple description of a symptom of anxiety in one of its four expressed aspects: (1) subjective (e.g., “unable to relax”), (2) neurophysiologic (e.g., “numbness or tingling”), (3) autonomic (e.g., “feeling hot”) or (4) panic-related (e.g., “fear of losing control”). The BAI requires 5 – 10 minutes to complete. Scoring is easily but it should be used and interpreted only by professionals with appropriate clinical training and experience. The instruction is clear and including the report of clients on past week and includes the present. The only weak I think of this scale maybe each item’s content is too short, so it will not collect the necessary information.

    Panic Disorder Severity Scale (PDSS) – Self-Report

    I like this scale because of its clear guidance as to how to define panic attack and give specific panic attack symptoms. In addition, the structure of each item is clear and has many options. This scale is useful to counselors because the meticulousness of each item will provide more information about the customer. The time it took to complete the scale was about 5 to 10 minutes with only 7 questions. This clear and easy scoring method that is very beneficial for the clinical utility. As a self- report, this scale is allowing participants to describe their own experiences rather than inferring this from observing participants. However, the questions are obvious and individuals could fake the results.

    Reply

    • Selene Anaya
      Jul 07, 2020 @ 18:12:32

      Hi Sr. Yen!
      I really like how you mentioned that the strong interest inventory can be good for pursuits outside of just occupational. I failed to mention that because it definitely could impact educational and leisure decisions as well! I think the inventory is strong enough too that it can be taken at any age. For example, I took it in high school to try and decide what I might want to study in college. I would have liked to take it after college to possibly get some ideas about what I want to do career-wise because my major did change in my undergrad education. Now that I know pretty much what I would like to do, I would be open to taking it again to see if I can gain some insight into possible leisure pursuits. I also think it is important to bring to our attention that the interpretations and scores of this inventory probably require expert training or a computer program generator which can be costly. For the BAI, I mentioned this in my other reply, but I would have liked to see more descriptive items just because there are a few items that can mean the same thing for some people. Having that clarification can be very helpful for some individuals and may even change some scores. Finally, for the PDSS, I really like how you mentioned that it allows patients to describe their experiences. I think that is always what we strive for in assessment because so many individuals may have the same disorder or issue, but are experiencing a variety of symptoms in the criteria as well as varying degrees of severity.

      Reply

  9. Dawn Seiple
    Jul 06, 2020 @ 19:20:53

    Strong Interest Inventory – College Scale

    Likes/Strengths- This provides helpful information for college students trying to align their interests, skills, values, personal style with available occupations. Given that career planning is an important activity for any college student thinking about their future, the time required to complete this thorough inventory is probably worthwhile. Though we could not assess the questions, given how widely used it is, the questions must do a good job of addressing the different categories of information. I like that the inventory approaches career planning from several different angles and the information is shared in a visually pleasing way.

    Dislikes/Weaknesses- There is so much information that this report is overwhelming. Even with the graphical displays, it is still a lot of information to take in. There are many occupations presented as possibilities and each of these might require further investigation to be meaningful. A skilled counselor would be needed to help students understand how to read the report and how to use the information.

    Clinical Utility – For career counselors, this seems like a solid resource to help college students think about available and appropriate occupations based on their personal information. However, as noted, it would be best if a counselor very familiar with the results report conveyed the information and assisted students in understanding how to use it. This assessment would make sense in a career counseling center where the cost and implementation could be justified, and the counselors were well versed in utilizing the results. It would likely be prohibitive for counselors whose primary focus was not career counseling.

    Beck Anxiety Inventory
    Likes/Strengths-This short questionnaire is easy for clients to complete. Where it is so concise, it seems like clients would not overthink each symptom and this may result in more honest responses. It is also easy for clients to answer questions about the past week. It would be difficult to remember these feelings or symptoms beyond one week. I think the further clarification provided under 3 of the response choices was helpful.

    Dislikes/Weaknesses-There isn’t anything I particularly dislike about this inventory. Though many of these symptoms could be the result of other medical conditions or environmental conditions, it seems that to get a high enough score to warrant concern, anxiety would have to be a meaningful factor.

    Clinical Utility- This is easy to score and administer. It would certainly provide a counselor with information that would be helpful in assessing anxiety and its effects on a client.

    PDSS – Self Report Form and Scoring

    Likes/Strengths-It is helpful and seemingly necessary to define a panic attack at the top of the form. If this was not part of the assessment, I think the quality of the results would suffer. The form provides explicit explanations and definitions throughout, which is helpful for some of the questions. It underlines key phases to call attention to what matters.

    Dislikes/Weaknesses-Unfortunately, many of the explicit definitions were overwhelming. Some questions were too long and complicated. For instance, in question #4, there were so many caveats and explanations that it was hard to even remember what was being answered. For someone with panic disorder, this might be particularly anxiety provoking.

    Clinical Utility-Rather than a self-report, I think a semi-structured interview would be better.

    Reply

    • Althea Hermitt- Mcpherson
      Jul 07, 2020 @ 18:08:30

      Hi Dawn. The Panic Disorder Severity scale is unique in my estimation as it gives the definition of a panic attack at the beginning of the scale, I think this gives people an idea of what the scale is looking for, and as you noted it helpful for a number of the questions. I think you have a great point, I never thought about the scale being anxiety-provoking for users but I can see why you would think of this. Looking back at the scale I can also see that majority of the questions are wordy and lengthy. Of the 3 scales, we did this week I like the Strong interest inventory the best as it gives so much worthwhile information.

      Reply

    • Michelle McClure
      Jul 07, 2020 @ 21:09:22

      Hi Dawn! I took the Strong Interest Inventory as an undergrad and I found it to be very helpful. I really like looking into things that teach me more about myself or someone else. I think that the Strong Interest Inventory would also be great for high school kids as well as college to get them thinking about the future and learning more about themselves in the process. I also think that the Beck Anxiety Inventory was short and sweet, maybe a little too short and sweet for my taste but that still makes for a useful assessment in many clinical settings. I would not have liked the Panic Disorder Severity Scale as much without the explicit definitions that the assessment provided. I think that the explicit explanations are what makes the assessment so reliable and a useful tool in many clinical settings.

      Reply

    • Yen Pham
      Jul 07, 2020 @ 23:21:46

      Hi Dawn,
      Just like you, I like this SII scale because it approaches career planning from several different angles and the in structure very clear. I also agree with you this scale is confused to scoring and interpreting so a trainer and professional are important. However, I think this scale not only helpful for college students but also for different age groups such as high school students and adults too.
      I am also interested on what you say about the BAI certainly provide a counselor with information that would be helpful in assessing anxiety and its effects on a client. Your points make me to think about the way that BAI relevance to childhood development. Children with anxiety disorders frequently present with other problems that may be produced, in part, by their anxiety and that often serve to further increase their anxiety. These co-morbid problems include depression, school refusal, poor behavioral control, poor peer relations, social skills deficits, poor academic performance, eating disorders, etc. Unaddressed childhood anxiety will likely cause problems later in adolescence and adulthood since early experience has such a profound impact on the development of negative beliefs about self, world, and future. Negative beliefs, in turn, create a fertile environment for the construction of distorted assumptions, rules, and thoughts that only serve to heighten anxiety. Identifying anxiety through the use of simple measures like the BAI may alert us to the need to intervene in a child’s life to remove real threats to physical and psychological safety. Such interventions would also, ideally, include helping the child learn to identify and dispute distorted perceptions of “threats” that are not real. In this way, the child can learn that feelings and emotions, including anxiety, can be controlled and/or managed.

      Reply

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Adam M. Volungis, PhD, LMHC

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