The factor structure of the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (Expanded version) in a sample of forensic psychiatric patients

J. van Beek, P.J. Vuijk, J.M. Harte, B.L. Smit, H. Nijman, E.J.A. Scherder

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Severe behavioral problems, aggression, unlawful behavior, and uncooperativeness make the forensic psychiatric population both hard to treat and study. To fine-tune treatment and evaluate results, valid measurement is vital. The Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale-Extended (BPRS-E) is a widely used scale for assessing psychiatric symptoms, with a stable factor structure over various patient groups. For the first time, its usefulness for forensic psychiatric patients was studied by means of an exploratory factor analysis on 302 patients in a penitentiary psychiatric center. A five-factor solution fitted the data best and showed large overlap with previous research done in both in- and outpatient populations with schizophrenia and mixed diagnoses. Around 45% of the patients did not fully comply. Items relying most on self-report caused the most non-adherence, possibly because of difficulty with verbalizing distress. These items loaded on the factors psychosis and affect. The BPRS-E is a suitable instrument for forensic use. Future research and clinical practice should focus on alignment with forensic patients to improve measurement, understanding, and eventually therapeutic interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)743-756
JournalInternational Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology
Volume59
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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