The Americans with Disabilities Act set in motion a series of policies and actions to promote community integration and participation, including for those individuals with psychiatric disabilities. Measuring participation in this population is in its infancy. This study examines the test–retest reliability of two modes of administration of a measure that assesses participation in four social life domains and the extent to which participation is viewed as sufficient and important.Research Method/Design:
One hundred and 19 individuals with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression were randomly assigned to either an interviewer- or self-administered method of completing the measure, and filled out the measure again in the same format within 48–72 hr.Results:
Correlations at the individual participation item and scale levels between the two time points were nearly all in the r = .6-.9 range. Agreement on the importance and sufficiency of their participation was also consistently high. The importance of participation in each area ranged from 36% to 95%, and among these individuals, between 18% and 71% indicated they were not participating as much as desired.Conclusions/Implications:
Community participation of individuals with psychiatric disabilities can be reliably measured using 2 methods of administration as an outcome in rehabilitation research and evaluation studies with this population. These individuals are engaged to varying degrees in a wide-range of participation areas in the community that are important, but most not to the degree that they desire. More intervention efforts are needed to increase the sufficiency of community participation.