Outcomes Measures are brief inventories, instruments, and questionnaires designed to assess the Quantity and Quality of Psychological Outcomes of specific “Treatments” to which individuals are subjected. These “Treatments” can be Psychological, Pharmacological, Medical, Social, or Naturally Occurring. Outcomes Measures provide a valid and reliable mechanism to quantify the Subject’s Status on the Treatment construct(s) involved. Outcomes Measures can reflect a wide range of constructs. The constructs can go from very specific such as DEPRESSION to much broader constructs such as Psychosocial Adjustment to Illness. Levels of Stress, Affects and Mood, Sexual Functioning, Sexual Distress, and Sexual Satisfaction may all be reflected by Outcomes Measures.
Derogatis Stress Profile (DSP®)
As an example, the DSP® represents an Outcomes Measure which assesses personal stress across multiple levels. Based upon Interactional Stress Theory, the DSP is comprised of 77 items which measures Stress along 11 distinct dimensions, which are grouped into 3 Primary Domains. A total stress score is calculated which is a result of an Interaction among the 3 Principle Domain scores.
DerogatisTM Affects Balance Scale (DABS)
Another example is provided by the DABS. In this instance, the construct under focus is “Affects Balance”, i.e., the relative balance between positive and negative emotions experienced by an individual. Primary positive and Negative emotional states are measured independently, and then each set of positive and negative emotions are scored and the differences between the two are calculated and developed into a distribution. This forms the basis for the Primary Measure of the Construct labeled “Affects Balance”.
The broad area of Sexuality is an excellent example of an area with multiple constructs that lend themselves to measurement via Outcomes Measures. Multi-dimensional measures of Sexual Functioning (e.g. the DSFI), Sexual Distress (e.g. the DISF-SR), and Sexual Satisfaction (e.g., both the DISF-SR and DSFI) are all available to document subjects’ sexual status on our website Derogatis-tests.com. All of these measures have been demonstrated to be valid and reliable and have been normed on relevant samples.
Ideally, outcomes constructs are an inherent aspect of the phenomenon under study, and appropriate Outcomes Measures (of these constructs) are selected based on the Quality of Fit between the Theoretical Constructs and the tangible measure of the construct provided by the measure.