The Quick Risk Screen has 64 items and can be completed in 15 to 20 minutes. The Quick Risk Screen has four scales (measures): 1. Truthfulness Scale, 2. Alcohol Scale, 3. Drugs Scale and 4. Risk Scale. It is a concise, yet meaningful, objective and standardized assessment instrument or test. The Quick Risk Screen has been normed and standardized on thousands of defendants, clients and substance (alcohol and other drugs) abuse clients.
1. Truthfulness Scale:Determines how honest and truthful the client was while completing the test. This scale identifies denial, problem minimization and attempts to fake good.
2. Alcohol Scale:Measures the severity of alcohol use and abuse. Alcohol refers to beer, wine and other liquor. Alcohol is a legal or licit substance.
3. Drugs Scale: Measures the severity of illicit drug use and abuse. Drugs refer to marijuana, crack, cocaine, barbiturates, amphetamines and heroin.
4. Risk Scale:Measures the client’s danger to self and others. This scale identifies problem prone people that manifest a pattern of taking unnecessary chances.
This test interpretation is provided as a ready reference to augment this dialogue. There are several levels of interpretation ranging from viewing the Quick Risk Screen as a self-report to interpreting scale elevation and scale inter-relationships.
The following table is a starting point for interpreting Quick Risk Screen scale scores.
Risk Range Percentile
0 - 39%
40 - 69%
70 - 89%
90 - 100%
A problem is not identified until a scale score is at the 70th percentile or higher. Elevated scale scores refer to percentile scores that are at or above the 70th percentile. Severe problems are identified by scale scores at or above the 90th percentile. Severe problems represent the highest eleven percent of clients evaluated with the Quick Risk Screen, which has been normed on thousands of male and female clients. And this normative sample continues to expand with each test that is administered.
1. Truthfulness Scale: Measures how truthful the client (male or female) was while completing the test. This scale identifies guarded and defensive people who attempt to fakegood. Truthfulness Scale scores in the 70 to 89th percentile range are accurate. Truthfulness Scale scores at or above the 90th percentile mean that all Quick Risk Screen scales are inaccurate (invalid) because the client was overly guarded, read things into test items that aren’t there, was minimizing problems or was caught faking answers. Clients with reading impairments might also score in this 90 to 100th percentile scoring range.
If not consciously deceptive, clients with elevated Truthfulness Scale scores are uncooperative, fail to understand test items or have a need to appear in a good light. The Truthfulness Scale is important because it shows whether-or-not the client answered test items honestly.
Truthfulness Scale scores at or below the 89th percentile indicate that all other scale scores are accurate. One of the first things to check when reviewing an Quick Risk Screen report is the Truthfulness Scale score. Was the client truthful when taking the test? Or conversely, was the client in denial, minimizing problems or attempting to “fake good” while completing the test? In other words, was the client truthful (honest, sincere or guileless) when answering Quick Risk Screen test items?
2. Alcohol Scale: Measures alcohol use and the severity of abuse. Alcohol refers to beer, wine and other liquor. It is a licit or legal substance. An elevated (70 to 89 th percentile) Alcohol Scale score is indicative of an emerging or problematic drinking problem. An Alcohol Scale score in the Severe Problem(90 to 100th percentile) range identifies serious drinking problems.
Other Alcohol Scale items are printed as “significant items” when they are admitted to. Severely elevated Alcohol and Drugs Scale scores indicate polysubstance abuse and the highest score usually identifies the client’s substance of choice.
Alcohol Scale scores in the Severe Problem (90 to 100th percentile) range are a malignant sign. Indeed, Alcohol Scale scores in the Severe Problem range often exacerbate or magnify the behaviors associated with other elevated scale scores when the client drinks. The Alcohol Scale score can be interpreted independently or in combination with other Quick Risk Screen scales.
3. Drugs Scale: Measures drug use and the severity of abuse. Drugs refer to marijuana, ice, crack, ecstasy, amphetamines, cocaine, barbiturates, heroin, etc. An elevated (70 to 89th percentile) Drugs Scale score identifies emerging drug problems. A Drugs Scale score in the Severe Problem (90 to 100th percentile) range identifies established drug problems.
A Severe Problem Drugs Scale score usually exacerbates or magnifies the behaviors associated with other elevated scores when drugs are being used. A particularly dangerous situation exists when the Drugs Scale and the Aggressiveness Scale are elevated. In these instances the client can inappropriately act out. Elevated Drugs Scale score can contribute (exacerbate) to impaired stress coping abilities. Elevated Drugs Scale score are often associated with increased resistance. A general rule is co-elevated scale scores are problematic. And when co-elevated scale scores are in the Severe Problem range problematic behaviors are usually exacerbated. Co-elevated scale scores in the Severe Problematic range are a malignant (very dangerous) pattern.
4. Risk Scale: Measures the client’s use of physical force to injure, damage and destroy. The Risk Scale identifies people who are a risk to themselves and others. A problem risk (70 to 89th percentile) Risk Scale score identifies violence prone individuals. A Violence Scale score in the severe problem (90 to 100th percentile) range identifies very violent and dangerous people. Some people are “violence prone” and often have a chip on their shoulder. They are sensitive to perceived insults, want to “get even” and overtly act out with little provocation. Elevated Alcohol Scale and Drugs Scale with an elevated Risk Scale are dangerous combinations because each of these scales represents potential risk magnifiers. The Risk Scale can be interpreted individually or in combination with other Quick Risk Screen scale scores.
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In conclusion, it was noted that there are several “levels” of Quick Risk Screen interpretation ranging from viewing the Quick Risk Screen as a self-report to interpreting scale elevations and inter-relationships. Staff can then utilize Quick Risk Screen findings within the context of the client’s situation.