Dissociative Experiences Scale

The Dissociative Experiences Scale is a clinical screening tool that assesses dissociation in patients. Download this PDF to evaluate dissociative tendencies. 

By Harriet Murray on Apr 08, 2024.

Fact Checked by Ericka Pingol.

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What Is A Dissociative Experiences Scale (DES)?

(DES) is valuable for measuring dissociation in patients with PTSD, dissociative disorders, borderline personality disorder, and abuse histories. Dissociation is frequently seen as a psychological defense mechanism for victims of traumatic events.

DES was created to provide a method for accurately assessing dissociation in both healthy and clinical populations. Clinical data, interviews, memory loss scales, and discussions with dissociation specialists were all used to develop the scale's item types. To improve the scale's language and structure, pilot testing was conducted. This clinical tool is made up of a 28-item self-report questionnaire.

Dissociative symptoms can be viewed as a transdiagnostic indicator of disturbed coping more generally because several diseases have been associated with higher-than-usual dissociation. The scale can be used to track the improvement while undergoing treatment.

Identity, memory, consciousness, affectivity, perception, and cognition are some of the capabilities that typically allow for an integration of the self and are altered in dissociation. Dissociation has, however, been linked with various psychiatric diseases on a pathological level (in terms of frequency and accompanying discomfort).

Patients with schizophrenia or psychotic illnesses are frequently screened with the DES-II. However, dissociative experiences can also be a typical element of psychological life.

Printable Dissociative Experiences Scale

Download this Dissociative Experiences Scale and assess your client’s dissociative symptoms.

How To Use This Dissociation Test

Step One: Download the PDF 

Once the template is saved on your computer or tablet, it can be administered digitally or printed. The PDF is made editable for easier access and organized data collection. 

Step Two: Read or Provide Instructions. 

It is essential to read how to go through each item. If this will be answered without a help of a mental health professional, you must read each line with thorough comprehension. If a professional administers this, ensure the patient understands how to answer each statement. 

Step Three: Fill out the Template.

Choose the appropriate scale for each statement. It is best to answer spontaneously and not overthink the questions. The test should only take 15-20 minutes to complete.

Step Four: Calculate the results. 

Calculating the data will allow you to determine whether the patient or test-taker has dissociative tendencies. The respondent should be reminded that the exam is just being used for screening. It is not a diagnostic test that indicates to the respondent that they have a dissociative illness; the results can only help professionals comprehend the experiences more fully.

Step Five: Communicate the findings. 

For individuals who have answered the template without expert supervision, the test results should be interpreted by a mental health expert. It can be used to devise a treatment plan or reach a diagnosis. For professionals, the findings should be communicated to the patient, and explain each indication. 

Dissociative Experiences Scale Example (Sample)

When you see a template with answers, it becomes easier to grasp the assessment tool to administer or react to the indicators. To help you see the template and how it can be answered, we have provided a sample dissociative experiences scale.

Download this Dissociative Experiences Scale Example (Sample) here:

Dissociative Experiences Scale Example (Sample)

When Would You Typically Use This Dissociation Test?

Dissociative Experiences Scales Test is used initially for screening purposes only. Psychologists use this assessment to know the patient's tendencies to dissociate.

To be more specific, this assessment can be used in these instances: 

Clinical Use 

This test can be used as a help in clinical interviews. The findings of the patient’s results may be helpful in the Dissociative Disorders Interview Schedule (DDIS) or Structured Clinical Interview for Dissociative Disorders (SCID-D) can be used to reach a diagnosis.

Regular Clinic Visit 

This can be used during regular sessions with mental health experts. Psychologists may find it very useful during consultations where they observe certain tendencies of dissociation. 

Screening for Diagnosis

Psychologists or Psychiatrists may use this when the patient is already diagnosed with one specific mental health condition. For instance, if a patient is diagnosed with schizophrenia, this assessment may be administered to the severity of the patient’s dissociation experiences, which may point to other unseen mental health concerns.

Who Can Use these Printable Dissociative Experiences Scales?

DES is readily available in the public domain. It can be answered individually, even without mental health expertise. The 28 questions are composed of situations that may show dissociative tendencies in a person. 
In Mental Healthcare, particular professionals benefit from using the Dissociative Experiences Scale. Here are the following experts: 

  • Psychologists
  • Psychiatrists 
  • Psychometricians 
  • Counselors 
  • Family Therapists 
  • General Therapists 
  • Trauma Therapists 

As mentioned, the general public can use the assessment tool. Though, analyzing the results and making them make sense would need a help of a mental health expert. They would be able to conclude with the results of the test.

Benefits Of Free Dissociative Experiences Scale

Versatile Screening Tool 

The DES is a screening tool that measures dissociative experiences. With the capability to generalize an outcome, the results are helpful in reaching a diagnosis for multiple mental health conditions. 

Targeted Outcome 

Psychologists administer this assessment instrument for a specific purpose for different sessions or consultations. Therapists have intended outcomes once this evaluation is administered to the patient. These targeted purposes help the therapist and the patient reach a particular treatment plan. 

Efficient Documentation 

With Carepatron making accessibility easier, mental health experts are now privileged to ensure data will be stored in an organized cloud-based platform that can reproduce the same template for retest purposes in follow-up consultations. 

Tailor-fit instrument for Mental Health Consultation

Mental Health Experts will be able to see the advantages of pulling up a document in one click that is necessary for their specific consultation. Unlike the tedious search for printed materials in cabinets, this template is a couple of clicks away from being completed and reproduced for the clients.

Refined Clinical Practice  

With all these benefits combined, the final benefit is the level-up administrative task completion of these practitioners. It becomes easier to focus on the conditions of the patients’ rather than burning more time in creating or drafting a Dissociative Experiences Scale Template. 

Why Use Carepatron For Dissociative Experiences Scale Software?

Carepatron is a robust and user-friendly software platform for those working in the mental health field. A library of pre-made worksheets and materials, including this Dissociative Experiences Scale, is available to therapists through Carepatron, where they may also build and personalize their worksheets.

In addition to having an easy-to-use interface, Carepatron offers a wide range of capabilities, making it the perfect platform for attending to mental health conditions. These include personalized therapy programs, tracking of progress, and safe communication between clients and therapists.

While seeking a user-friendly, comprehensive platform for mental healthcare materials, therapists should strongly consider Carepatron. Carepatron can help you take the finest care of your patients and produce successful results.

Psychology Software
How to get the DES Score?
How to get the DES Score?

Commonly asked questions

How to get the DES Score?

The DES score is the average of all the questions, therefore, the smallest score is 0 and the maximum score is 100[2]. To figure this out for yourself, score each question by dropping the zero from the percentage of each response, for example, 30% = 3; 80% = 8, and then add these values together. To determine your average score, multiply the sum by 10 and divide it by the number of questions, which is 28.

How to interpret DES results?

The overall scores range from 0 to 100, with scores of 30 or higher indicating substantial levels of dissociation. Also, the overall score is shown as percentile ranks when compared to clinical and non-clinical samples. The score of a respondent can be compared to comparator groups using this. A percentile of 50 when compared to a general psychiatric patient represents the average score for people receiving psychiatric care and is lower than the average score for personality disorders, PTSD, and dissociative disorders.

What does the DES measure?

The DES is a 28-item, self-administered questionnaire used to assess how frequently dissociative experiences occur. In response to the DES questions, participants indicate the proportion of time (in 10% increments ranging from 0 to 100) during which they had the event mentioned.

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