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Br J Psychiatry. 2002 Jan;180:45-50.

Signs and Symptoms of Psychotic Illness (SSPI): a rating scale.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, Canada. peter.liddle@nottingham.ac.uk



In the rating scales commonly used for assessing response to antipsychotic treatment, individual items embrace symptoms that apparently arise from distinguishable pathophysiological processes and might be expected to respond differently to treatment.


To test the reliability, sensitivity to change and factor structure of a new scale for the assessment of the Signs and Symptoms of Psychotic Illness (the SSPI).


Interrater reliability was evaluated by determining the intraclass correlation for the ratings of 63 patients. Sensitivity to change was assessed in a longitudinal study of 33 patients. Factor structure was determined from scores for 155 patients.


The intraclass correlation was satisfactory for all individual items and excellent for the total score. Scores were sensitive to change. A change in Clinical Global Impression of one unit corresponded to an SSPI total score change of 31%. Factor analysis revealed five clusters of symptoms.


The SSPI provides a sensitive and reliable measure of the five major clusters of symptoms that occur commonly in psychotic illness.

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