Psychodiagnostic testing is a specialized diagnostic procedure that identifies and quantifies degrees of psychopathology and uses written, oral and projective instruments to evaluate a patient's mental processes and to assess how their thinking and emotions are likely to impact their behavior. Therefore, objective data on a patient's psychological functioning will be provided and confusing clinical presentations can be clarified. It enhances diagnostic accuracy by controlling for subjective opinion because it uses highly reliable, standardized tests that have been validated in clinical trials. Furthermore, psychodiagnostic testing helps to make pharmacological or psychotherapeutic treatment recommendations that have the highest likelihood of success.
The aim of psychodiagnostic testing is to help students/pupils and their parents to make career choices based on aptitudes and abilities. Further, it is the mainstay of assessments for special education placement, admission to gifted programs, and learning disability assessment.
Examples of appropriate referrals for psychological testing include:
- Children and adolescents with suspected Attention deficit and hyperactivity disorders ( AD(H)D)
- Children and adolescents with possible learning disabilities
- Children and adolescents with suspected mental retardation or poor intellectual functioning
- Children with Development disturbances
- Children and adolescents with mood disorders
- Children and adolescents with anxieties and phobia (e.g. examination phobia)
- Children and adolescents who are "acting-out" and with disturbances of the social behavior and oppositional defiant behavior
At the end of the testing, there will be a psychodiagnostic report provided, designed to answer specific (referral) questions (e.g. questions regarding diagnostic clarification, intellectual functioning, learning style, current psychosocial stressors, and adaptive ability). The report will also include treatment recommendations that are based on the synthesized results of the clinical interview, mental status exam, patient's personal, family and cultural history, and findings from the standardized tests. These objective recommendations can be used to develop interventions with the highest likelihood of success