This chapter will examine the origins of measurement scales in research by
considering the science of psychological testing. In particular the chapter
provides a brief definition of a measurement scale, outlines why scales are
used, examines the design and evaluation of scales, discusses what the
responses to scales mean, outlines advantages and limitations of their use,
and provides examples of measurement scales developed and used in the EQUIP
project and other published mental health research. In recent years, as a
response to criticisms that measurement scales are often not
patient-oriented, we have seen increasing emphasis placed on the development
of Patient Reported Outcomes Measures (PROMs). These tend to be less
focussed on symptoms and more on the everyday experiences of people using
services. They are much more likely to be designed and developed in
collaboration with service users. The EQUIP research project developed a
good quality PROM for assessing user and carer involvement in care planning,
the first such measure of its kind in mental health.
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