Self-rating scales that measure schizophrenic patients' mental state could be useful for some clinical purposes. However, the issue is the subject of much controversy. In our earlier studies the Frankfurter Befindlichkeits-Skala (sFBS) developed by Süllwold and Herrlich was found to have a high reliability and specific validity. Nevertheless, in order to improve its practical applicability, we proposed to abbreviate the original instrument on the grounds of a secondary, retrospective psychometric analysis.
Aims – The aim of this prospective study was to evaluate basic psychometric properties of the shortened version of the Frankfurter Befindlichkeits-Skala (sFBS) in a new sample.
Subjects – 30 patients diagnosed with various disorders (in that number 19 with the diagnosis of schizophrenia according to ICD-10) participated in the study.
Method – Two scales of visual analogy were used as the referential self-rating instrument, while the Clinical Assessment of Schizophrenic Syndromes (CASS) scale served as an alternative clinical diagnostic tool. The patients' mental state was self-rated weekly, and besides independently by physicians (psychiatrists?) every two to four weeks.
Results - The sFBS may be used reliably. Its validity seems to be specific and only slightly related to clinical diagnosis. The scale has a one dimensional factorial structure (disorganization signals). Both reliability and factorial structure of the scale were stable over successive weeks, despite changes in the patients, mental state. The scale differentiated the description of the observed mental states and seemed useful in practice.
Discussion – The results of the sFBS evaluation directly on a new sample corroborated the conclusions drawn from our earlier; secondary analyses of the scale properties. The shortened version retained the psychometric properties of the full scale, but can be more easily administered in practice.
Conclusions – The sFBS may be useful for monitoring changes in the patients' self-rating of their mental stale.