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Client and Caregiver Perceptions of Feedback Following Psychodiagnostic Assessment

25 July 2011


Providing assessment feedback to clients is an ethical responsibility of psychologists and an essential component of the feedback process. Despite this fact, little empirical attention has been given to the process and impact of providing assessment feedback to clients. Research has contributed general guidelines for providing effective feedback to clients, as well as models for how to structure a feedback session. In addition, research indicates that clinicians believe that feedback is helpful for clients and in turn, clients prefer feedback that is client-centered. Across the literature on feedback there are common themes of providing personalized, collaborative feedback in an empathic and caring way that meets the specific needs of the client. The aim of the current study was to assess clients’ perceptions and experiences of psychodiagnostic feedback with respect to their impressions of the utility of feedback and of the impact of the clinician. Results indicated that clients and caregivers found feedback to be helpful, useful, and overall were satisfied with receiving assessment feedback. In addition, clients’ feelings of being both understood and treated respectfully by the clinician were significant predictors of overall satisfaction. Clients’ experiences of learning new information, reinforcing previously known information, or viewing the results as inaccurate did not significantly predict ratings of usefulness. Clients’ experiences of not viewing the results as inaccurate did significantly predict ratings of helpfulness. Despite the limitations of the study, the findings have clinical implications with regard to how clinicians should conceptualize and conduct assessment feedback with clients. Overall, the results provide further evidence for the utility of feedback and future research should continue to explore this construct.


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