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Assessment. 2007 Sep;14(3):279-99.

Development and validation of a brief mental health screening instrument for newly incarcerated adults.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, 263 Farmington Avenue, Farmington, CT 06030, USA.


The authors report the development and initial psychometric evaluation of gender-specific brief screening instruments to identify undetected psychiatric impairment on incarceration. Women and men completed the Correctional Mental Health Screen (CMHS), a 56-item screen derived from validated measures. Representative subsamples completed structured diagnostic interviews within 5 days. An 8-item screen for women and a 12-item screen for men identified inmates with current Axis I psychiatric disorders with 83% to 100% accuracy on the basis of cut points chosen to maximize negative predictive power. The CMHS showed evidence of incremental predictive utility compared with two previously validated correctional mental health screening measures with White and Black men and White women. Incremental validity was not supported with Black women, for whom the CMHS performed well in identifying true cases but not in ruling out noncases. Analyses of internal consistency, interrater, and retest reliability and convergent, discriminant, and criterion validity supported the psychometric status of the CMHS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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