An Instrument to Assess Competencies of Providers Treating Severe Mental Illness

Published in: Mental Health Services Research, v. 5, no. 2, Jun. 2003, p. 97-108

Posted on on January 01, 2003

by Matthew Chinman, Alexander Young, Melissa Rowe, Sandy Forquer, Edward Knight, Anita Miller

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One approach to improving the quality of rare for severe mental illnesses (SMI) such as schizophrenia is through the improvement of provider competencies; the attitudes, knowledge, and skills needed to deliver high-quality care. This paper describes a new instrument designed to measure such a set of competencies A total of 341 providers of services to clients with SMI at 38 clinics within 5 publicly financed treatment organizations in 2 western states were asked to complete a paper-and-pencil survey including the new Competency Assessment Instrument (CAI: 15 scales, each assessing a particular provider competency), and additional measures used to establish validity (Recovery Attitude Questionnaire-7, Client Optimism Scale). Seventy-nine percent (N = 269) responded at baseline, 83% (N = 282) responded at 2 weeks. Ninety-seven percent of baseline respondents completed the survey at 2 week. Most CAI scales have good internal consistency (Cronbach's as =.52-.93), test-retest reliability (scales ranged from .42 to .78), And validity, and should be useful in efforts to improve care.

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