Validation of the Penn Inventory of Scrupulosity (PIOS) in Scrupulous and Nonscrupulous Patients: Revision of Factor Structure and Psychometrics

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Abstract

Scrupulosity, or obsessive–compulsive symptoms related to religiosity or religion, is a common presentation of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), and it is important to elucidate its phenomenology and measurement. Today, the most widespread questionnaire for the assessment of scrupulosity is the Penn Inventory of Scrupulosity (PIOS). The current study examines the psychometric properties of the PIOS in outpatient, treatment-seeking patients. Results of a confirmatory factor analysis suggested an unsatisfactory fit for previously suggested factor structures. A follow-up exploratory factor analysis suggested that a bifactor model was the most suitable solution. In addition, the scores of the PIOS and its revised subscales were found to have moderate-good concurrent validity; however, its scores discriminated poorly between patients with scrupulous obsessions and patients with OCD and other repugnant obsessions. Group differences and receiver operating characteristics (ROC) analyses both indicated that the PIOS is more suitable in discriminating scrupulous obsessions in Christian patients but not in other religious groups (i.e., Jews, nonreligious patients). Additional analyses revealed that the co-occurrence of scrupulous and other repugnant obsessions is also moderated by religious affiliation. These results raise questions in terms of grouping scrupulosity with other repugnant obsessions and suggest for the need of culturally sensitive instruments of scrupulosity.

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