MIG Update – January 16, 2023
Competing Psych Assessments Yield Same Psychometric Test Results
This week a MIG escape on psych where the Tribunal made a determination based on the fact that both the Applicant and Insurer’s assessors conducted psych validity testing that yielded the same findings.
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Factor: Competing Psych Assessments Yield Same Psychometric Test Results
In Gao v. Aviva Insurance Canada (20-012369), Yan Gao involved in an automobile accident on April 20, 2019 sustained both physical and psychological injuries. She sought removal from the MIG on the psychological diagnosis of Adjustment Disorder with Mixed Anxiety and Depressed Mood. Gao relied on the May 25, 2021 report of psychologist Dr. Sedigheh Naisi.
Aviva on the other hand had secured the report of Dr. Mohammad Nikkhou, neuropsychologist dated February 13, 2020 who concluded that Gao’s psychological impairments were not of a substantive nature and diagnosed her with subclinical features of adjustment reaction.
Aviva also submitted that Dr. Naisa was only authorized to practice with supervision or was not practicing. There were inconsistencies in Dr. Naisa’s assessment and that she did not review all medical documentation in support of her report. As well, the family doctor’s records did not indicate any report of psychological impairments.
The Tribunal held:
- Although Dr. Naisi didn’ appear to review medical documentation for her report, Dr. Nikkhou’s review was also limited to just the OCF 18 and the ortho IE.
- Dr. Naisa was in good standing and could practice autonomously.
- Dr. Naisi diagnosis was based on a clinical interview, the scores on the Beck Depression Inventory-2 (“BDI-2”) of moderate depression, the Beck Anxiety Inventory (“BAI”) of severe anxiety and on the Patient Pain Profile (“P3”) which measured above average on the scales measuring depression.
- Dr. Nikkhou also found that Gao’s score fell in the moderate depression range when conducting psychometric testing, namely the BDI-2. Gao had reported a 50% negative change in her emotional condition since the onset of her injuries. Dr. Nikkhou’s report further indicated that the rehabilitation checklist found that Gao’s pain, anxiety/stress, lack of energy and difficulty sleeping were barriers to recovery.
- “However, despite the results of these psychometric tests, Dr. Nikkhou concluded that the applicant’s psychological impairments were not of a substantive nature and diagnosed her with subclinical features of adjustment reaction. Dr. Nikkhou further noted that due to the possible effects of cultural and linguistic factors on the psychometric tests, the reported symptomatology should be interpreted “with caution”..
- The fact that both Gao’s and Aviva’s psychological assessors conducted psychometric testing that yielded results of moderate depression to be most important and dismissed the concerns about the cultural factors as Gao had the assistance of a Mandarin speaking interpreter.
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