The Professional Quality of Life (ProQOL) Self-Test is a free 30 question self-assessment test that was designed by Dr. Beth Stamm to assist helping professionals in evaluating their current levels of burnout, secondary traumatic stress and compassion satisfaction. You can learn more about the test including the theory behind the test at ProQOL.org.

There are two suggested methods to take this self-assessment test:

  • Pencil and Paper
  • Through the Provider Resilience App

 

Disclaimer from Dr. Beth Stamm:

Excerpted from: Stamm, B.H. (2010). The Concise ProQOL Manual, 2nd Ed. Pocatello

“The most important aspect about interpreting the ProQOL is that it is not a diagnostic test. There are no official diagnoses in the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision (ICD-10) or in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR, 2000). The body of research on burnout and post traumatic stress disorder indicates a close kinship with each to depression. While this is useful information, depression is a general term that also is a specific diagnosis of a mental disorder and is widely and officially recognized by both the medical and the mental health communities. Therefore, it is impossible, and grievously inappropriate, to diagnose depression or any other disorder from the result of the ProQOL.

What the ProQOL can do, from a diagnostic perspective, is to raise issues to address with use of appropriate diagnostic procedures. For example, as noted above, both burnout and PTSD are frequent “co-travelers” with depression. A high score on either burnout or secondary traumatic stress, or a high score on both with a low score on compassion satisfaction, can be an augury of clinical depression that deserves treatment. Clearly the disorder most commonly associated with secondary trauma is PTSD. In fact, the DSM-IV-TR PTSD A1 criteria specify that the event may happen to self or to others. Additionally, it specifies that a person’s reaction must involve fear, helplessness, or horror. However, what it does not specify is when one has “experienced, witnessed, or was confronted” with the threat to another.

Despite this parallel of compassion fatigue and/or secondary trauma to PTSD, it cannot be overemphasized that these issues are a natural consequence of trauma work and not necessarily pathological in nature (Figley, 1995; Larsen & Stamm, 2008; Stamm, 1999). Given these concerns, the ProQOL can be a guide in regard to an individual’s or organization’s balance of positive and negative experience related to doing either paid or volunteer work. For an individual or an organization, high scores on compassion satisfaction are a reflection of engagement with the work being done.”

For more information, read the ProQOL Manual.

Pencil and Paper Version

The original version of the ProQOL provided by Dr. Beth Stamm.

Where to Download: Available on the ProQOL website

Instructions: Instructions are included on page 2 & 3 of the ProQOL 5 Self-Score document

Pros: Free; No digital devices required (data/privacy concerns); Available in multiple languages

Cons: Printer required; Time-consuming; High risk of calculation errors.

The Provider Resilience App

The Provider Resilience App was developed by psychologists at DHA Connected Health, which is the branch of the Defense Health Agency responsible for reviewing, evaluating, coordinating, and integrating the use and development of health technology supporting Military Health System (MHS) beneficiaries.

Where to Download: Apple App Store & Google Play Store

Instructions: Included in app.

Pros: Free; Quick; No risk of error in scoring.

Cons: Requires downloading and installing app; Need to create an account; Provided by an external agency (The United States National Department of Defense).