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The Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale:  II. Validity

Wayne K. Goodman, MD; Lawrence H. Price, MD; Steven A. Rasmussen, MD; Carolyn Mazure, PhD; Pedro Delgado, MD; George R. Heninger, MD; Dennis S. Charney, MD
Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1989;46(11):1012-1016. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1989.01810110054008.
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• The development design and reliability of the Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale have been described elsewhere. We focused on the validity of the Yale-Brown Scale and its sensitivity to change. Convergent and discriminant validity were examined in baseline ratings from three cohorts of patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder (N = 81). The total Yale-Brown Scale score was significantly correlated with two of three independent measures of obsessive-compulsive disorder and weakly correlated with measures of depression and of anxiety in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder with minimal secondary depressive symptoms. Results from a previously reported placebo-controlled trial of fluvoxamine in 42 patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder showed that the Yale-Brown Scale was sensitive to drug-induced changes and that reductions in Yale-Brown Scale scores specifically reflected improvement in obsessive-compulsive disorder symptoms. Together, these studies indicate that the 10-item Yale-Brown Scale is a reliable and valid instrument for assessing obsessive-compulsive disorder symptom severity and that it is suitable as an outcome measure in drug trials of obsessive-compulsive disorder.

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