|Non-Confidential Summary||Inventors: Philip Gerretsen and Ariel Graff Guerrero||Tech ID: 006-2013|
Schizophrenia Awareness Scale (VAGUS)
Schizophrenia is a debilitating mental illness with symptoms of disturbances that impair thinking and is often accompanied by hallucinations and delusions. Global lifetime prevalence of schizophrenia is estimated to vary from 3 to 6 people per 1000. Impaired self-awareness of disease, termed “insight” into illness, is common in Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders. This means that patients commonly do not know if they are currently experiencing an episode of psychosis, or they do not attribute psychotic delusions to having the disease. Lack of insight is known to have a significant negative impact on medication adherence and treatment outcomes. Therefore, accurately assessing insight is a significant step towards improved planning, administering, and establishing compliance for treatments.
Existing scales vary in the number of questions, scale items and what dimension of insight they are assessing. To this end, there is a need for an insight assessment scale:
- With a broad range of responses
- That can capture subtle changes in insight over brief periods of time
- Is both clinician-rated and self-reported
Our researchers have developed an easy to administer insight scale with both self-report and clinician-rated versions that would be sensitive to small changes in insight over brief periods of time, and assess the multidimensionality of insight. A 10 item self-report (VAGUS-SR) and a 5 item clinician-rated version
(VAGUS-CR) of the scale were designed, based on previously validated scales, to measure the dimensions of insight into psychosis. Both scales are efficient, each taking approximately 5 minutes to administer/complete. All scale items utilized 10-point Likert scales to capture subtle changes in degree of insight into illness.
Stage of Development:
During clinical assessment, the self-report and clinician-rated versions demonstrated good validity, reliability, correlation with existing scales and had excellent inter-scale reliability (r=0.685, p < 0.001).
Use a unique 10 point Likert scale to more accurately discern subtle changes in insight over brief periods of time
Both scales (CR & SR) are efficient, each taking approximately 5 minutes to administer and complete
VAGUS, unlike competitor scales, captures and correlates with the multidimensional variables involved in insight, such as “awareness of negative consequences”, “general illness awareness”, and “awareness of need of treatment”
VAGUS scale Copyright © is owned by the Centre for Addiction & Mental Health, (CAMH), Toronto, Canada, published 2014 (Canadian Copyright Registration No. 1108200; Registered October 8, 2013).