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July 1970

The Psychiatric Status ScheduleA Technique for Evaluating Psychopathology and Impairment in Role Functioning

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1970;23(1):41-55. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1970.01750010043009

THE numerous rating scales, inventories, and forms developed over the last two decades for evaluating psychiatric patients are designed primarily for detecting and recording psychopathological signs and symptoms appropriate for the evaluation of inpatients, and consequently give little, if any, attention to impairment in role functioning. Furthermore, the existing instruments generally do not assess alcoholism, drug addiction, and psychopathic behavior, although individuals with disturbances in these areas represent a significant portion of the patients now being seen at community mental health centers. This lack of coverage of both role functioning and addictive or psychopathic behavior in the more commonly used rating scales also limits their usefulness in epidemiological studies.

This paper describes the second edition of the Psychiatric Status Schedule (PSS), an instrument designed to overcome these limitations. Previous papers have described the use of the first edition in a computer program for psychiatric diagnosis, DIAGNO I,1 and