BACKGROUND - Persons with co-occurring Axis I mental disorders and substance use disorders often experience multiple negative consequences as a result of their substance use. Because no existing measure adequately assesses these population-specific problems, we developed the Problems Assessment for Substance Using Psychiatric Patients (PASUPP). This paper describes the scale development and factor structure, and provides initial reliability and validity evidence for the PASUPP.
METHODS - An initial pool of 54 items was assembled by reviewing existing measures for relevant items and generating new items. Then, 239 patients (90% male, 61% White) with documented Axis I psychiatric and current substance use disorders rated the lifetime and last 3-month occurrence of each problem, and completed additional measures of substance use and related functioning.
RESULTS - Lifetime endorsements ranged from 31 to 95%, whereas 3-month endorsements ranged from 24 to 78%. Item analyses reduced the set to 50 items. The PASUPP is internally consistent (alpha = 0.97) and unidimensional. Scale validity was suggested by moderate correlation with other measures of substance problem severity.
CONCLUSIONS - Promising psychometric properties are reported for a population-specific measure of substance use problems. Such a measure could be useful for initial assessments and outcome evaluations with substance using psychiatric patients.