Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale
The Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) is a psychological test designed to determine the severity of a person’s obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) symptoms. Wayne Goodman designed it. The scale is used for both diagnostic purposes and to monitor symptoms during treatment, and measures obsessions separately from compulsions. Goodman and his colleagues recently introduced an updated version of the test, the Y-BOCS-II, in an effort to integrate such behaviors as avoidance. In general, the Y-BOCS is the gold standard of diagnosis.
The test itself, administered by a clinician, has 10 items, each of which is rated from zero, meaning no symptoms, to four, meaning extreme symptoms. The end result is a score range from zero to 40. From the end result, a person’s OCD severity is ranked. Zero to 7 is sub-clinical. A score of 8 to 15 indicates mild symptoms. Scores from 16 to 23 indicates moderate OCD. Scores between 24 and 31 means severe OCD, while 32 to 40 demonstrates extreme OCD symptoms.
Self-administered versions of the test can be found online, asking individuals to rate the average occurrence of various obsessive or compulsive traits over the course of a week. Obsessions are defined as unwelcome thoughts that enter into a person’s consciousness. Compulsions are behaviors that the individual feels compelled to perform, even if they recognize that such behaviors are excessive or senseless.