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October 1983

Misuse of the Symptom Checklist 90

Author Affiliations

Department of Psychiatry Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine 600 N Wolfe St Baltimore, MD 21205

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1983;40(10):1152. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1983.01790090114025

To the Editor.—  My career-long interest in the complex issues of physicianpatient agreement was one of the instrumental factors in my development of the Psychopathology Rating Scale Series,1 which includes the Symptom Checklist 90—Revised (SCL-90-R) and SCL-90 Analogue. For this reason, I approached the recent article "Discordance Between the SCL-90 and Therapists' Psychopathology Ratings" (Archives 1983;40:389-393) with enthusiasm. On reading the article, however, it became apparent that the study suffered from serious methodologic flaws, a striking misappreciation of basic psychometrics, and a surprising amount of plain misinformation. As a result of these problems, the more glaring of which are listed below, I have come to the judgment that few (if any) of the study's conclusions are valid.1. The investigators used an early prototype2 of the SCL-90-R,1 not the final published version of the scale. The SCL-90 Analogue and its definitions were developed to provide consonant measurement

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