• rating scale;
  • reliability;
  • psychiatric symptom assessment;
  • training

Roncone R, Ventura J, Impallomeni M, Falloon IRH, Morosini PL, Chiaravalle E, Casacchia M. Reliability of an Italian standardized and expanded Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS 4.0) in raters with high vs. low clinical experience. Acta Psychiatr Scand 1999: 100: 229–236. © Munksgaard 1999.

Objective: The aims of this study were (i) to assess the inter-rater reliability of the latest Italian expanded 24-item version of the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale, BPRS version 4.0 and (ii) to assess the feasibility of obtaining reliable BPRS 4.0 ratings by reliability training of clinically less experienced trainees (medical and rehabilitation students).

Method: A videotape-training procedure was used, and the inter-rater agreement scores of three different groups of raters, namely psychiatrists and psychologists (n=28), psychosocial rehabilitation students (n= 27) and medical students (n= 54) were calculated and compared.

Results: The results indicated that both experienced raters (psychiatrists and psychologists) and inexperienced raters (medical and psychosocial rehabilitation students) were able to achieve high levels of inter-rater reliability.

Conclusion: Our results are of particular interest in view of the increasing need to draw upon professionals, other than psychiatrists and psychologists, for cost-effective and standardized evaluation of rehabilitation interventions.