Reference to the above table shows that a problem is not identified until a
scale score is at the 70th percentile or higher. These risk range
percentiles are based upon clients that have completed the SA. This procedure
is fair and avoids extremes, i.e., over-identification and under-identification
A doctor, counselor, health care professional or agency may refer clients with
identified problems for further evaluation or treatment services. In the case
presented above, eleven percent (11%) of the adults screened (Severe Problem)
would be referred for counseling or treatment.
In this example, 89% (contingent upon adopted
policy) of the people screened would not be referred for additional (and
unnecessary as well as expensive) services.
Savings (dollars) could be
large with no compromises in clients receiving appropriate evaluation and/or
Indeed, it is likely more clients would receive help. Without a screening
program, there is usually more risk of over or under-utilization of additional
The Self-Audit (SA) test booklets are provided free. These booklets contain 160
items and are written at a 5th to 6th grade reading
level. If a person can read the newspaper, they can read the SA.
In brief, SA reports summarize the client's self-report history, explain what
attained scale scores mean and offer specific score-related recommendations.
Within 2½ minutes of test data entry, automated (computer scored) reports are
printed on-site. These reports summarize a lot of information in an easily
understood format. For example, reports include an SA profile (graph), which
summarizes all scale scores at a glance. Also included are scale scores, an
explanation of what each score means and specific score-related
recommendations. In addition, significant items (direct admissions) are
highlighted, and answers to a built-in interview (last sequence of items) are
presented. Emphasis is placed on having meaningful reports that are helpful and
easily understood. To review a Self Audit Example report click on the Self Audit Example Report link.
Reliability, Validity and Accuracy
The SA has a proprietary built-in database that insures inclusion of all
administered tests in a confidential (no names) manner. SA reliability,
validity and accuracy statistics are reported herein. This analysis
demonstrates that SA scales have high reliability and validity coefficients.
For example, interscale consistencies (coefficient alphas) for SA scales are
reported in the following table for clients tested with the SA.
All SA scales have alpha coefficients above the professionally accepted standard
of .75 and are highly reliable. And, all coefficient alphas are significant at
the p<.001 level.
Early studies used criterion measures and were validated with other tests, e.g.,
Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) L-Scale and F-Scale, 16PF,
Victim Index, Taylor Manifest Anxiety Scale, Treatment Intervention Inventory
(TII), etc. The SA evolved from the Victim Index. Much of this research is
summarized in the document titled "SA: An Inventory of Scientific Findings." To
review this research, click on the Self-Audit Research link.
The Self-Audit is introduced on Behavior Data Systems' website to expand its
As always, used diskettes shall be returned to Behavior Data Systems for
inclusion in the SA expanding database.
The SA is available in Windows diskettes. Windows diskettes require a one time
set-up procedure after which SA data (25 or 50-test) diskettes are used to
score and print reports. Training manuals are provided free, and new test users
can be walked through these scoring procedures over the Behavior Data Systems
Proprietary SA diskettes contain 25 or 50 test applications. These 3½" diskettes
score, interpret and print reports on-site. Once an SA account is established,
ordered diskettes are mailed to users. When all test applications on an SA
diskette are used, these diskettes are returned to Behavior Data Systems where
demographics and test data are downloaded into the SA database for subsequent
database analysis. The proprietary "delete names" program is activated by the
test user with a few keystrokes to delete all client names from diskettes
before they are returned to Behavior Data Systems. Deleting all client names
insures protection of each client's confidentiality and compliance with HIPAA
(federal regulation 45 C.F.R. 164.501).
The SA system contains a proprietary built-in database. Earlier it was noted
that all SA used diskettes are returned to Behavior Data Systems, and the test
data is downloaded into the SA's expanding database. This database allows
ongoing research and testing program summary, features that were only rarely
possible before. Ongoing research insures quality control. Annual testing
program summaries provide for program self-evaluation. And, these features are
provided free. To review a summary report click on the Annual Summary Report link.
The SA permits ongoing research and annual program summary -- at no additional
cost. As discussed earlier, when the 25 or 50-test diskettes are used, used
diskettes are returned to Behavior Data Systems and downloaded into the
expanding SA database. Advantages of this proprietary database are many and
include database analysis and annual summary reports.
No personal information, names, social security numbers, etc. are ever
downloaded into any test database.
Returned diskettes can be summarized on a state, department, agency or provider
basis -- at no additional cost to users. To review an example annual summary
report, click on this Annual Summary Report link.
After downloading test data returned diskettes are destroyed.
In summary, all returned SA diskettes' test data is centrally filed at Behavior
Data Systems' offices in the SA database. This database has many advantages.
Database analysis permits ongoing cost efficient research that includes scale
alpha coefficients, ANOVA, frequency distributions, correlations, cross-tab
statistics along with reliability, validity and accuracy determinations. To
review the "Self-Audit: Inventory of Scientific Findings," click on the Self-Audit Research link.
Staff Member Input
The SA is to be used in conjunction with experienced staff judgment. When
available, adjustment records should be reviewed, as they can contain important
information not provided or incorrectly provided by the client. Experienced
staff should also interview the client. For these reasons, the following
statement is contained in each SA report: "Self-Audit results are confidential
and are working hypotheses. No diagnosis or decision should be based solely
upon these results. These test results are to be used in conjunction with
experienced staff judgment and review of available records."
How Do You Assess Denial?
Sometimes, clients minimize, exaggerate or distort the truth. Sometimes, this is
deliberate, but it can be inadvertent. People tend to want to appear in a good
light -- it's normal. Yet, in many cases, it's important to determine whether
or not the client is telling the truth. The SA contains a Truthfulness Scale
that determines how truthful the respondent was while completing the test. This
scale identifies denial, problem minimization and faking. And the SA doesn't
stop there. Error of measurement due to untruthfulness is measured for each
scale and reported as Truth-Corrected scores. Truth-Corrected scores are more
accurate than raw scores.
Unique Self-Audit (SA) Features
Measures how truthful the respondent was while completing the SA. This scale
identifies denial, problem minimization and faking. The SA Truthfulness Scale
has been validated with other tests, truthfulness studies and the Minnesota
Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) L- and F-Scales. It consists of a
number of items that most people agree or disagree with. This important scale
has been demonstrated to be reliable, valid and accurate. Much of this research
is reported in the document titled: "SA: An Inventory of Scientific Findings."
Truth-Corrected scores have proven to be important in enhancing assessment
accuracy. This proprietary truth correction procedure is comparable to the MMPI
K-Scale correction methodology. The SA Truthfulness Scale has been correlated
with the other eight SA scales. The truth correction equation then converts raw
scores to Truth-Corrected scores. Raw scores reflect what the respondent wants
you to know. Truth-Corrected scores reveal what the respondent is trying to
minimize. Truth-Corrected scores are more accurate than raw scores.
More Than Just Another Alcohol
or Drug Test:
In addition to substance (alcohol and other drugs) abuse, the SA assesses other
important areas of inquiry like distress, morale, self-esteem, resistance and
stress coping abilities. The SA is designed specifically for adult client
assessment and screening.
Three Ways to Give the
The SA can be administered in three different ways: 1. Paper-pencil test
booklet format. 2. The SA can be given directly on the computer screen. And, 3.
The proprietary "human voice audio" involves both the computer and a headset.
The respondent uses the up-down arrow keys. As the respondent goes from
question to answer with the arrow keys, that question or answer is highlighted
on the monitor (screen) and simultaneously read to the respondent. These test
administration modes are discussed in the "SA: Orientation and Training
Manual." Each of these test administration modes is made available so test
users can select the mode that is best suited to their needs.
Reading impaired clients represent as many as 20+ percent of the people tested
with the SA. Behavior Data Systems' tests are written at a 5th to 6th
grade reading level. If a person can read the newspaper, they can read and
understand the SA. Behavior Data Systems also offers a proprietary alternative
for reading impaired assessment, which is called "human voice audio."
Human Voice Audio:
Human voice audio is available in English and
Spanish. It helps resolve many reading and cultural difference issues. A
person's passive vocabulary is often greater than their active (spoken)
vocabulary. Hearing items read out loud often helps reduce cultural and
communication problems. As discussed earlier, "human voice audio" test
presentation requires a computer, earphones and simple instructions regarding
how to operate the up-down arrow keys located on the computer keyboard.
Behavior Data Systems encourages test users to delete respondent names from
diskettes before they are returned to Behavior Data Systems. This proprietary
name deletion procedure involves a few keystrokes. Once respondent names are
deleted, they are gone and cannot be retrieved. Deleting names does not delete
demographics or test data which is downloaded into the SA database for
subsequent analysis. The "delete names" procedure insures client
confidentiality and compliance with HIPAA (federal regulation 45 C.F.R.
Test Data Input Verification:
This proprietary program allows the person that inputs test data from the
answer sheet into the computer to verify the accuracy of their data input. In
brief, test data is input twice, and any inconsistencies between the first and
second data entries are highlighted until corrected. When the first and second
data entries match or are the same, the staff person may continue. Use of this
data input verification procedure is optional, yet strongly recommended by
Behavior Data Systems.
Inventory of Scientific
Much of the SA research has been gathered together in one document titled "SA:
An Inventory of Scientific Findings." This document summarizes SA research
chronologically -- as the studies were completed. This innovative chronological
reporting format was established largely because of the SA database, which
permits annual database analysis of all tests administered that year. It also
allows the reader to observe the evolution of the SA.
Behavior Data Systems' staff is available to participate in SA training
programs scheduled by test users in the United States. Large departments,
agencies or statewide programs often are interested in SA training. Sometimes,
smaller agencies or departments get together for a joint SA training session.
Behavior Data Systems gives attendees certificates attesting to their SA
Staff training is also provided on Fridays at Behavior Data Systems' Phoenix
offices from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. or from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. These
training sessions are free. To participate, contact Behavior Data Systems at
least ten days in advance. Participation is on a first call, first scheduled
Free Examination Kit.
A 1-test demonstration diskette is available on a 30-day cost free basis. Demo
diskettes are in Windows format. The Examination Kit includes a 1-test demo
diskette, installation CD (with instructions), test booklet, answer sheet and
some descriptive materials. Behavior Data Systems, Ltd. does want the test
booklet and diskette returned within 30 days.
Selecting a Client Assessment Instrument or Test
If you are selecting a client assessment instrument, the following "comparison
checklist" should prove to be helpful. This checklist itemizes important
assessment and screening qualities. The "Other" column represents any other
test you might want to compare to the Self-Audit (SA).