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Test-retest reliability of PsyCheck: a mental health screening tool for substance use treatment clients

Linda Jenner (Director of LeeJenn Health Consultants, Northern New South Wales, Australia)
Jacqui Cameron (Senior Consultant with LeeJenn Health Consultants, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia and Adjunct Lecturer at Flinders University, Adelaide)
Nicole K. Lee (Associate Professor at Flinders University, Adelaide, and is Director of LeeJenn Health Consultants, Melbourne, Australia)
Suzanne Nielsen (NHRMC Early Career Research Fellow, based at University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia)

Advances in Dual Diagnosis

ISSN: 1757-0972

Article publication date: 18 November 2013




The purpose of this paper is to examine test-retest reliability of the PsyCheck screening tool.


In all, 50 drug users in their first three months of treatment were given the Self Reporting Questionnaire (SRQ; PsyCheck version) at two time points between five and nine days apart to examine reliability of the screen over time.


Results suggest that the SRQ (PsyCheck version) has good test-retest reliability. ICC=0.841 (p=0.000) showed strong agreement between time 1 and time 2.

Practical implications

The study confirms that the SRQ (PsyCheck) is a stable and reliable instrument for use within drug treatment settings. The implications of the use of screening tools not validated within alcohol and drug treatment setting are discussed.


Mental health problems, particularly anxiety and mood disorders, are common among clients of alcohol and drug treatment services and alcohol and drug workers often undertake symptom management of high prevalence disorders. The originality of this study is that the PsyCheck screening tool was designed for use by non-mental health specialists to detect common mental health problems.



The authors wish to thank Turning Point Clinical Services and Sanja Pahoki Senior Research Assistant Turning Point Clinical Research Programme for her assistance with data collection.


Jenner, L., Cameron, J., K. Lee, N. and Nielsen, S. (2013), "Test-retest reliability of PsyCheck: a mental health screening tool for substance use treatment clients", Advances in Dual Diagnosis, Vol. 6 No. 4, pp. 168-175.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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