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November 1989

The Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive ScaleII. Validity

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, Delgado, Heninger, and Charney); and the Department of Psychiatry, Brown University School of Medicine, Butler Hospital, Providence, RI (Dr Rasmussen).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1989;46(11):1012-1016. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1989.01810110054008

• The development design and reliability of the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale have been described elsewhere. We focused on the validity of the Yale-Brown Scale and its sensitivity to change. Convergent and discriminant validity were examined in baseline ratings from three cohorts of patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (N = 81). The total Yale-Brown Scale score was significantly correlated with two of three independent measures of obsessive-compulsive disorder and weakly correlated with measures of depression and of anxiety in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder with minimal secondary depressive symptoms. Results from a previously reported placebo-controlled trial of fluvoxamine in 42 patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder showed that the Yale-Brown Scale was sensitive to drug-induced changes and that reductions in Yale-Brown Scale scores specifically reflected improvement in obsessive-compulsive disorder symptoms. Together, these studies indicate that the 10-item Yale-Brown Scale is a reliable and valid instrument for assessing obsessive-compulsive disorder symptom severity and that it is suitable as an outcome measure in drug trials of obsessive-compulsive disorder.