Are important patient-rated outcomes in community mental health care explained by only one factor?

Acta Psychiatr Scand. 2007 Aug;116(2):113-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.2007.01005.x.


Introduction: The study tested whether four commonly used patient-rated outcomes are explained by only one factor, reflecting a general appraisal tendency of patients.

Method: Quality of life, needs and symptoms were rated by 92 patients in community mental health care at baseline and after 18 months and 6 years follow-up periods. At follow ups treatment satisfaction was also assessed. Scores and change scores were subjected to factor analyses. We then tested which individual items predicted factor scores.

Results: One factor explained between 55% and 66% of the variance of the tested patient-rated outcomes cross-sectionally and longitudinally. Only change scores of treatment satisfaction loaded on a separate factor. Seven items consistently explained more than 80% of the variance of the general factor.

Conclusion: Four important patient-rated outcomes are uniformly and substantially influenced by a general tendency for positive or negative appraisals. This tendency can be assessed more simply than using currently established methods.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Community Mental Health Services*
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Health Services Needs and Demand / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Principal Component Analysis
  • Psychometrics / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychotic Disorders / psychology
  • Psychotic Disorders / therapy*
  • Quality of Life / psychology
  • Schizophrenia / therapy*
  • Schizophrenic Psychology
  • Social Adjustment
  • Social Support