Objective: This study compared three instruments that are used to measure empowerment of people with psychotic disorders. The study evaluated internal consistency, discriminant and convergent validity, sensitivity to symptom levels, and clinical usefulness.
Methods: Fifty patients in the Netherlands were administered the Empowerment Scale (ES), the Personal Empowerment Scale (PES), and the Mental Health Confidence Scale (MHCS).
Results: The MHCS had good internal consistency, whereas the levels for the ES and PES were just below what would be considered acceptable. The instruments demonstrated moderate correlations between total scores; correlations between subscale scores were weaker. Scores for all three instruments were comparably associated with symptom severity.
Conclusions: All three instruments measure some aspect of empowerment among persons with severe mental illness. However, empowerment is too broadly defined to allow these instruments to have convergent validity. Among patients with psychotic disorders, the MHCS is recommended because it has good psychometric qualities and is clinically useful.