Correspondence Between Self-Report Measures and Clinician Assessments of Psychopathology in Female Intimate Partner Violence Survivors


Intimate partner violence (IPV) has potentially severe and long-lasting mental health consequences for survivors, including elevated symptoms and diagnoses of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). The current study examined the relationship between three self-report measures of psychological distress and ratings obtained from the corresponding clinician-administered measures in women seeking assessment for mental health problems following IPV (N = 185). PTSD symptoms were assessed using the self-report Impact of Event Scale–Revised (IES-R) and the interview-based Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS). Depression symptoms were assessed using the self-report Beck Depression Inventory–II (BDI-II) and the depressive disorders sections from the clinician-administered Anxiety Disorders Interview Schedule–IV (ADIS-IV). Anxiety symptoms were assessed using the self-report Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI) and the clinician-administered GAD section from the ADIS-IV. Results indicated that psychological distress was prevalent in the sample, with 27% receiving a PTSD diagnosis, 40% diagnosed with a depressive disorder, and 55% meeting criteria for GAD. Although each self-report measure was significantly and positively correlated with its corresponding clinician-administered measure, rates of diagnostic concordance were mixed. The BDI-II showed a high degree of agreement with the ADIS-IV depression section, but the IES-R and the CAPS were discordant at classifying PTSD. The BAI had acceptable sensitivity but poor specificity in relation to the ADIS-IV GAD section. These findings suggest that multiple assessment modalities should be considered when rating symptoms and estimating the prevalence of diagnoses among survivors of IPV.

Publication Title

Journal of Interpersonal Violence