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J Clin Psychol. 1998 Nov;54(7):885-94.

Comparison of the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale and the Brief Symptom Inventory.

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Graduate School of Psychology, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, California 91101-1790, USA.


General psychopathology rating scales have multiple uses and have been used extensively. These rating scales may be found in several forms including an interview procedure and self-report. The advantages of self-report measures, as well as their possible deficits, were discussed. Because there are so many varying kinds of rating scales, criteria were set forth as to how to evaluate scales. An interview with a rating scale, the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS), and a self-report measure, the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI), were compared in this study. The BPRS has been widely used and has been evaluated as one of the very best rating scales. However, experienced raters and more time are needed to administer the BPRS. The BSI is highly evaluated as one of the best brief self-report measures and requires much less professional time. Both instruments have high reliability and validity. Correlations of the BPRS total score with the total scores on the BSI were significant, as were correlations of the depression, anxiety, and hostility subscales on each instrument. Therefore, either scale could be used for a brief assessment of overall symptomatology, depression, anxiety, and hostility. However, it is suggested that the subscales should be compared to other criteria to measure their convergent validity.

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