NEW SIRS-2 AVAILABLE FROM FEBRUARY 2010.
Richard Rogers, PhD, ABPP, R Michael Bagby, PhD, Susan E Dickens, MA
The SIRS is a structured interview designed to detect malingering and other forms of feigning of psychiatric symptoms. It may be used in inpatient settings to address both clinical and forensic issues. Appropriate for ages 18 years and older.
The SIRS was developed to assess systematically deliberate distortions in the self-report of symptoms. SIRS scales provide useful data on how a particular client may distort or fabricate his or her symptom atology. Although it has relevance for other response styles (e.g., honest or inconsistent responding), the primary emphasis of the SIRS is on the evaluation of feigning (malingering and factitious disorders with psychological symptoms) and the way this feigning is likely to occur. For example, scale interpretations may suggest an exaggeration of symptom severity rather than a fabrication of preposterous symptoms.
The SIRS consists of eight primary and five supplementary scales for the assessment of feigning, including a scale to assess defensiveness; the content of each scale varies so that endorsement of items on a particular scale does not reflect any specific mental disorder. The 16-page Interview Booklet contains 172 items, 32 of which are Repeated Inquiries to detect inconsistency of responding; the content covers a wide range of psychopathology, as well as symptoms that are unlikely to be true.
Reliability and Validity
The SIRS is Validated with clinical, community, and correctional populations; classification rates generalise across sociodemographic and diagnostic groups. Construct validity is demon strated through factor analyses and correlational evidence of convergent and discriminant validity with MMPI validity scales and M test scales. Interrater reliability estimates range from .89-1.00. Internal consistency reliability coefficients for subscales range from .66-.92
Administration and Scoring
The SIRS may be administered by any mental health professional with formal training in structured interviews. Administration and scoring can be completed in under one hour. Primary scale scores are plotted on the front page of the booklet.
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