DO I HAVE A DISSOCIATIVE DISORDER? – SCREENING TOOLS: THE FIRST STEP
Often a first step in the process of obtaining a diagnosis of a dissociative disorder can be to use a screening tool. Some people might want to use them just for personal validation of their symptoms. PODS now provides free scoring of dissociative symptoms using standardised tools. Please read the following information, and then click the ‘Proceed’ button at the bottom of the page to use this service.
WHAT IS A SCREENING TOOL?
A screening tool uses a list of questions to identify who may have a high risk or likelihood of a disease or condition. Public Health England describe screening like a sieve: most people pass through because they are at low risk. However, some people’s results show a higher risk or likelihood of the condition. But further tests are required to confirm/diagnose the actual presence of that condition.
Image courtesy of Public Health England (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-population-screening-explained)
WHAT SCREENING TOOLS ARE USED FOR DISSOCIATIVE DISORDERS INCLUDING DID?
The two most common are:
- the DES (Dissociative Experiences Scale), which looks at psychological symptoms
- the SDQ-20 (Somatoform Dissociation Questionnaire), which looks mainly at physical symptoms or body experiences.
They are ‘self-reported measures’. This means that you complete them yourself.
The questions require a number on a scale of 1 to 5 or on a scale of 1 to 100.
WILL A SCREENING TOOL GIVE ME A DIAGNOSIS?
No. But a higher score indicates a greater likelihood of suffering from a dissociative disorder, which would warrant further investigation.
An ‘official’ diagnosis is usually given using the SCID-D clinical assessment tool, delivered face-to-face by a qualified clinician.
For more information on getting a diagnosis please click here.
DOES A PROFESSIONAL NEED TO ADMINISTER OR SCORE THE TOOLS?
No. You complete the screening tools yourself. At PODS we use publically available tools to score the results, and then we explain what the results mean.
Disclaimer: These self-report questionnaires are not a substitute for a clinical diagnosis, advice or treatment. By submitting your answers, you accept that PODS is not responsible or liable for the outcome of the results, or any decisions or events resulting from it.
WHAT’S THE POINT OF USING THESE SCREENING TOOLS?
A report which shows the result of the screening tools, for example a high likelihood of a dissociative disorder, can be useful as personal validation, or it may be a helpful first step to show a GP or mental health team as a way of requesting a full clinical assessment.
ARE THERE LIMITATIONS OF SUCH SCREENING TOOLS?
Yes, especially because this is a self-report tool.
- There can be false positives: someone who overestimates their symptoms.
- There can be false negatives: someone who underestimates or denies their symptoms. This is particularly true when people have ‘amnesia for amnesia’.
HOW DO I FILL IN THE SCREENING TOOLS?
Follow the links below. You will need to fill them out one at a time – so come back to this page after you have completed the first one.