Do Different Subjective Evaluation Criteria Reflect Distinct Constructs?

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Four subjective evaluation criteria-self-rated symptoms, subjective quality of life, self-rated needs, and patients' assessment of treatment-were examined to determine whether they reflect distinct constructs and to what extent they are correlated. The four criteria were assessed in 90 newly admitted schizophrenia patients, 170 long-term-hospitalized schizophrenia patients, 154 patients with alcoholism admitted for the short term, and 68 patients with alcoholism in long-term rehabilitation, using identical instruments. The four criteria show substantial intercorrelations, except for assessment of treatment in the two acute treatment groups. One general factor explains between 43% and 55% of the variance in each group. Factor scores are associated with observer-rated psychopathology and objective data. The four criteria overlap in different patient groups, except in the assessment of treatment in acute groups. The use of more than one subjective criterion should occur only with specific hypotheses. A better theoretical framework is needed to explain the differences between and interrelationships of subjective evaluation criteria.

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