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BMC Psychiatry. 2014 Dec 11;14:337. doi: 10.1186/s12888-014-0337-1.

The images of psychiatry scale: development, factor structure, and reliability.

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Department of Public Health Sciences, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
Association for the Improvement of Mental Health Programs, Geneva, Switzerland.
Centre for Health Services and Policy Research, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.



This analysis is based on a survey questionnaire designed to describe medical educators' views of psychiatry and psychiatrists. Our goals in this paper were to assess the psychometric properties of the survey questions by (a) using exploratory factor analysis to identify the basic factor structure underlying 37 survey items; (b) testing the resulting factor structure using confirmatory factor analysis; and (c) assessing the internal reliability of each identified factor. To our knowledge, this is the first attempt to use these techniques to psychometrically assess a scale measuring the strength of stigma that medical educators attached to psychiatry.


Survey data were collected from a random sample of 1,059 teaching faculty in 23 academic teaching sites in 15 countries. We conducted exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis to identify the scale structure and Cronbach's alpha to assess internal consistency of the resulting scales.


Results showed that a two-factor solution was the best fit for the data. Following exploratory factor analysis, we conducted confirmatory factor analysis on a split half of the sample. Results highlighted several items with low loadings. Excluding factors with low correlations and allowing for several correlated variances resulted in a good fitting model explaining 95% of the variance in the data.


We identified two unidimensional scales. The Images Scale contained 11 items measuring stereotypic content concerning psychiatry and psychiatrists. The Efficacy of Psychiatry Scale contained 5 items addressing perceptions of the challenges and effectiveness of psychiatry as a discipline.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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