A representation of Psyche, taken from the BPS logo
Psychological Testing

Guidelines for the use of psychological tests in healthcare research

This guide focuses on the use of psychological tests for research in healthcare settings.

31 January 2019

The guide extends the original Principles for the Use of Published Psychological Tests in Research by considering the impact of the testing process and research data on individual participants, services and service users. It encourages people in healthcare research to take into account the ethical, administration, scoring, feedback and security aspects of responsible test use.

This guidance offers wider interpretations of the Principles for the use of Published psychological tests in research produced by the British Psychological Society (BPS) in 2016, and extends the previous version of The use of psychological tests in healthcare research published in 2011. Whilst the earlier version focused on research conducted in the NHS it is now recognised that psychological assessments conducted as part of healthcare research encompass a much wider remit than primarily conducted under the auspices of the NHS. This updated version therefore expands the previous remit to include:

  • The NHS
  • Third sector and independent health and social care services
  • Occupational health
  • Other specialist healthcare settings
  • Academic settings
  • Any service audit or service evaluation

It is envisaged therefore that the revised guidelines will be applicable in a range of occupations working within these settings, and relate particularly to psychologists working within clinical, counselling, health, forensic and neuropsychology arenas. It is also envisaged that these guidelines will apply where individuals are involved in either the design and/or conduct of such research.

Download the guide