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November 1989

The Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive ScaleI. Development, Use, and Reliability

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, Yale University School of Medicine and The Connecticut Mental Health Center, Ribicoff Research Facilities, New Haven, Conn (Drs Goodman, Price, Mazure, Heninger, and Charney, and Mss Fleischmann and Hill); and the Department of Psychiatry, Brown University School of Medicine, Butler Hospital, Providence, RI (Dr Rasmussen).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1989;46(11):1006-1011. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1989.01810110048007

• The Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale was designed to remedy the problems of existing rating scales by providing a specific measure of the severity of symptoms of obsessivecompulsive disorder that is not influenced by the type of obsessions or compulsions present. The scale is a clinician-rated, 10-item scale, each item rated from 0 (no symptoms) to 4 (extreme symptoms) (total range, 0 to 40), with separate subtotals for severity of obsessions and compulsions. In a study involving four raters and 40 patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder at various stages of treatment, interrater reliability for the total Yale-Brown Scale score and each of the 10 individual items was excellent, with a high degree of internal consistency among all item scores demonstrated with Cronbach's α coefficient. Based on pretreatment assessment of 42 patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder, each item was frequently endorsed and measured across a range of severity. These findings suggest that the Yale-Brown Scale is a reliable instrument for measuring the severity of illness in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder with a range of severity and types of obsessive-compulsive symptoms.