OBJECTIVE: In a previous study, we have suggested a revision of the Anger/Aggression and the Spontaneity subscales. The main aim of this study was to re-evaluate the psychometric properties of the other eight subscales of the Ward Atmosphere Scale. METHOD: A total of 550 patients and 822 staff members on 54 psychiatric wards for psychotic patients completed the WAS and the Good Milieu Index (GMI). We calculated Cronbach's alpha, the Corrected Item Total subscale Correlation, subscale intercorrelations and the correlation between subscales and GMI. RESULTS: By removing a total of 16 items, the psychometric properties improved. The revised subscales had acceptable psychometrics and gave a clearer picture of the relationship between the perceived level of patient satisfaction and the WAS subscale scores. CONCLUSION: The revision suggested in this study 'modernized' several of the subscales. We suggest that this revision is implemented in the future use of the WAS.
Social anxiety is a common problem in psychotic disorders. The Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale, Self-Rating version (LSAS-SR) is a widely used instrument to capture different aspects of social anxiety, but its psychometric properties have not been tested in this patient group. The aims of the present study were to evaluate the psychometric properties of the LSAS-SR in patients with first episode psychosis, to investigate whether it differentiated between active and passive social withdrawal and to test which clinical factors contributed to current level of social anxiety.
A total of 144 first episode psychosis patients from the ongoing Thematically Organized Psychosis (TOP) study were included at the time of first treatment. Diagnoses were set according to the Structured Clinical Interview (SCID-1) for DSM-IV. A factor analysis was carried out and the relationship of social anxiety to psychotic and general symptomatology measured by the Positive and Negative Syndrome Scale (PANSS) was evaluated. Possible contributors to social anxiety were analyzed using multiple hierarchic regression analysis.
The factor analysis identified three subscales: public performance, social interaction and observation. All three subscales showed satisfactory psychometric properties, acceptable convergent and discriminate properties, and confirmed previous findings in social anxiety samples. Self-esteem explained a significant amount of the variance in social anxiety, even after adjusting for the effects of delusions, suspiciousness and depression.
The study shows that the LSAS-SR can be used in this patient group, that social anxiety is strongly related to both behavioral social avoidance and to self-esteem. The results support the use of this measure in assessment of social anxiety in both clinical settings and in research.