Aim: So far, no study has assessed the validity of the Health of the Nation Outcome Scales (HoNOS) in patients enrolled in early intervention programmes, nor has any study evaluated the validity of the HoNOS in people at ultra high-risk (UHR) of psychosis. This study set out to assess the validity and reliability of the HoNOS as a measure of outcome in the patients enrolled in an early intervention programme.
Methods: The concurrent, discriminant and predictive validity, and the reliability of the HoNOS as a measure of outcome in an early intervention programe were assessed in 87 first-episode psychosis (FEP) patients, and in 81 patients at UHR of psychosis.
Results: Reliability indexes were good in the FEP sample, and less good in the UHR sample. HoNOS total scores differentiated between FEP and UHR patients, and the HoNOS subscales proved able to assess a specific profile of symptoms in the two samples, demonstrating a helpful adjunctive measure of health status without complete overlap with other scales. Sensitivity to change was also very good, again with differences between FEP and UHR patients. HoNOS scores at intake did not predict failure to attain remission in FEP patients. There were too few cases of transition to psychosis (n = 2) to assess predictive validity of HoNOS in the UHR sample.
Conclusion: HoNOS possesses satisfactory sensitivity and validity to be used in the routine assessment in early intervention programmes.