Use of peer ratings to assess sociability among inpatients with severe psychiatric disorders

David L. Penn, Dorie Reed, Mary Sullivan, Will Spaulding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Objective: A critical component of inpatient treatment for persons with severe psychiatric disorders is an evaluation of their social impairments. Most existing methods for such evaluations involve staff input and can be both time-consuming and expensive. This paper reports on the use of peer ratings as a method for assessing sociability, an aspect of social functioning in this clinical population. Methods: Thirty-two inpatients with severe psychiatric disorders who had spent an average of 18 months on an inpatient unit in a state facility rated the popularity of their inpatient peers by completing a 7-point scale measuring how much they enjoyed visiting with each patient. The reliability of peer ratings and their association with staff ratings of patients' behavior on the unit were assessed. Results and conclusions: The peer ratings had excellent test-retest reliability and were highly associated with staff members' independent evaluations of patients' behavior. Peer ratings appear to have promise as a measure of social functioning among inpatients with severe psychiatric disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1440-1444
Number of pages5
JournalPsychiatric Services
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1998


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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