Personality disorders (PDs) are considered to be potential predictors of treatment outcome in substance-dependent patients and potential treatment matching variables. There is a need for a brief and simple screening instrument for PDs that can be used in routine psychological assessment, especially in a treatment setting for previously substance-dependent criminal offenders, where a high prevalence of PDs is expected.
This study investigated the psychometric properties of the Standardized Assessment of Personality—Abbreviated Scale (SAPAS), a commonly used screening interview for PDs, in a population of inpatient criminal offenders with a history of substance dependence. Various statistical procedures were used to establish reliability and validity measures, such as Kuder–Richardson 20, confirmative factor analysis, receiver operating characteristic analysis and multitrait multimethod matrix. The SAPAS was administered to 101 inpatient criminal offenders with a history of substance dependence at baseline. Within three weeks, participants were administered the Structured Interview for DSM-IV Personality in order to assess the presence of PDs.
Results show limited evidence to make firm conclusions on the psychometric qualities of the SAPAS as a screening instrument for comorbid PDs in a substance dependence treatment setting for criminal offenders. Suggestions for improvement concerning the psychometric qualities of the SAPAS as a screening instrument for this population are noted. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.