Objectives: To develop a psychometrically robust and widely applicable short form of the Derriford Appearance Scale, (DAS59), which (1) will reliably and validly assess the distress and difficulties experienced in living with problems of appearance, (2) is acceptable to clinical and non-clinical populations, and (3) facilitates research and clinical decision-making through good standardization and sensitivity.
Design: Cross-sectional survey designs using clinical (out-patient and in-patient) and general population samples.
Method: Twenty-five items were selected initially from the 59 items of the original DAS59. These were refined to 24 through item analyses and the scale was standardized on 535 patients with a range of problems of appearance and on a representative general population sample (N=1, 107).
Results: All 24 items contributed well to the total score and internal consistency was high (alpha=.92). Test-retest reliability (6 months) was good (0.82), and criterion validity, with the DAS59, was excellent (0.88). Good construct validity was demonstrated in differences between (1) patient and general population samples, (2) members of the general population concerned and not concerned about their appearance, and (3) in patterns of convergent and divergent correlations with a range of established scales. The general population data revealed widespread concerns about appearance.
Conclusion: The DAS24 provides a widely applicable and acceptable short form of the original DAS59. It is psychometrically robust and discriminates well between patient groups, between clinical and non-clinical populations, and within the general population between those concerned, and those not concerned, about their appearance.