• cognitive behavioral therapy;
  • competency;
  • education in psychiatry;
  • psychotherapy;
  • training

Aim:  This study aimed to test reliability and validity of the Japanese-version Cognitive Therapy Awareness Scale, a self-rating scale that measures basic knowledge of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) concepts and methodology. Furthermore, we explored optimal cutoff score to demonstrate required standard of CBT competency.

Methods:  The reliability and validity of the scale was tested among 252 mental health professionals. The participants' number of readings relevant to CBT, as well as their experience in training and practice in CBT were used as external standards of competency.

Results:  The scale has good internal consistency (the Kuder-Richardson formula 20 = 0.76). The total score of the scale was significantly correlated with experience in training and practice in cognitive behavioral therapy, and the number of relevant readings (Spearman's rho = 0.27, 0.28 and 0.44, respectively, P < 0.001). No significant correlation was found between the total score of the scale and experience in general psychosocial care (Spearman's rho = −0.02, P = 0.76). The receiver operating characteristics curve analysis produced the area under curve (AUC) of 0.77 (SD = 0.05, P < 0.001), and a cutoff score of 31/32 produced sensitivity of 0.81 and specificity of 0.64 to discriminate trainees who have experience of 40 h or more of CBT training and five or more of relevant readings, from those who do not meet this standard.

Conclusion:  The Japanese-version Cognitive Therapy Awareness Scale was successfully validated. It has been demonstrated that the scale specifically assess knowledge in cognitive behavioral therapy. This scale would serve as a rough guide to assess competencies among beginner cognitive behavior therapists.