Rating Scale in Psychiatry

The rating scales most widely used in the 1960s and 1970s were the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale (BPRS) which was mainly used to evaluate the effectiveness of antipsychotics, and the Hamilton Depression and Anxiety Scales (HAM-D and HAM-A) which were used to evaluate the effectiveness of the antidepressants and the antianxiety drugs.


There are two type of rating scales

Administered by Rater

Self - administered

The use of rating scales in clinical research in psychiatry developed increasingly in the late 1950s with the introduction of antipsychotics and antidepressants. To evaluate the effectiveness of these new drugs when compared to placebo in randomised clinical trials it became important to use instruments with a sufficiently high degree of reliability and validity.

These three scales (BPRS, HAM-D and HAM-A) were not meant to be used as diagnostic scales but as outcome scales. However, with the introduction of the evidence-based diagnostic systems (beginning with DSM-III) in the 1980s, with symptom-derivated diagnoses for mental disorders, an association between the symptom-oriented rating scales (e.g. BPRS, HAM-D and HAM-A) and the clinical diagnoses emerged.

Rating scales in psychiatry



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