Objective: No method has yet been established to summarise different objective indicators of social outcomes into one score. The study aimed to develop and test a simple, brief and meaningful index of social outcomes that can be used across a broad range of mental health studies and is potentially obtainable from routine documentation.
Method: An index capturing employment, accommodation and living situation (range from 0 to 6; SIX) was devised and tested in three longitudinal datasets of patients with severe mental illness from Germany, Sweden and the UK.
Results: SIX showed an almost normal distribution cross-sectionally in all three datasets. Between 58 and 78% of patients changed scores over time. Change scores were weakly associated with change scores of symptoms, quality of life, global functioning and disability.
Conclusion: A simple method to summarise different indicators of social outcomes provides meaningful results. It can be widely used in research and routine care.