The Work and Social Adjustment Scale: a simple measure of impairment in functioning

Br J Psychiatry. 2002 May:180:461-4. doi: 10.1192/bjp.180.5.461.


Background: Patients' perspectives concerning impaired functioning provide important information. AIMS; To evaluate the reliability and validity of the Work and Social Adjustment Scale (WSAS).

Method: Data from two studies were analysed. Reliability analyses included internal scale consistency, test-retest and parallel forms. Convergent and criterion validities were examined with respect to disorder severity.

Results: Cronbach's alpha measure of internal scale consistency ranged from 0.70 to 0.94. Test-retest correlation was 0.73. Interactive voice response administrations of the WSAS gave correlations of 0.81 and 0.86 with clinician interviews. Correlations of WSAS with severity of depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder symptoms were 0.76 and 0.61, respectively. The scores were sensitive to patient differences in disorder severity and treatment-related change.

Conclusions: The WSAS is a simple, reliable and valid measure of impaired functioning. It is a sensitive and useful outcome measure offering the potential for readily interpretable comparisons across studies and disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Depressive Disorder / rehabilitation
  • Depressive Disorder / therapy
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Mental Disorders / rehabilitation
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / psychology
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / rehabilitation
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / therapy
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales*
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Social Adjustment*
  • Treatment Outcome