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October 1983

Misuse of the Symptom Checklist 90-Reply

Author Affiliations

Department of Psychiatry Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center New York, NY 10032

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1983;40(10):1152-1153. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1983.01790090114026

In Reply.—  Dr Derogatis called the SCL-901 an "early prototype" and a "primitive version" of the SCL-90-R,2 the final version of the scale. In fact, the scales are similar; only several minor modifications were made in the SCL-90. Eighty-seven of the 90 items are identical; SCL-90 item 3 was reworded and items 80 and 86 were changed. The SCL-90 asks the patient "how much were you bothered by..." while the SCL-90-R asks "how much were you distressed by.... " Derogatis incorrectly stated that the instruments are scaled differently; they use the same five-point response scale with identical descriptors: "not at all, a little bit, moderately, quite a bit, extremely."Derogatis asserted that the nine Analogue descriptors correspond to the item content of the respective nine SCL-90-R factors, not the SCL-90 factors. Yet, the items are identical for seven of the nine factors: somatization, interpersonal sensitivity, depression, hostility, phobic anxiety, paranoid ideation,

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