An evaluation of the brief symptom inventory-18 using item response theory: which items are most strongly related to psychological distress?

R.R. Meijer, Rivka M. de Vries, Vincent van Bruggen

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The psychometric structure of the Brief Symptom Inventory–18 (BSI-18; Derogatis, 2001) was investigated using Mokken scaling and parametric item response theory. Data of 487 outpatients, 266 students, and 207 prisoners were analyzed. Results of the Mokken analysis indicated that the BSI-18 formed a strong Mokken scale for outpatients and prisoners, indicating strong unidimensionality. For students, only the depression and anxiety items formed a medium Mokken scale. Parametric item response theory analyses showed that the best discriminating items came from the depression and anxiety subscales.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)193-202
JournalPsychological assessment
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • METIS-282259
  • IR-93030

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