Australian Mental Health Outcomes and Classification Network
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HoNOS 2018 Content Validity

A collaborative project was undertaken to review the HoNOS/HoNOS 65+. This project was led by the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP), as the copyright holder, with the participation of representatives from Australia and New Zealand (NZ). The Health of the Nation Outcome Scales for Children and Adolescents (HoNOSCA) was not in scope for the review. As a result of this international collaborative review, both the HoNOS and the HoNOS 65+ underwent modification, aiming to improve the quality and minimise the amount of measurement error that would otherwise compromise the validity of clinical ratings.

There was, however, no empirical evidence that these revisions achieved their objectives. The Commonwealth Department of Health tasked the Australian Mental Health Outcomes and Classification Network (AMHOCN) with investigating key psychometric properties of the revised HoNOS (known as HoNOS 2018) and the revised HoNOS 65+, known as HoNOS Older Adults (HoNOS OA). Content validity was identified as a key area in which work could initially be undertaken. NZ and England expressed an interest in being involved in that work.

AMHOCN identified that the COSMIN framework provides a set of 10 criteria for evaluating ‘good’ content validity, taking into account the three aspects of:

  • relevance (the item(s) are consistent with and specific to the construct(s) of interest);
  • comprehensiveness (the item(s) measure all facets of the construct(s) of interest); and
  • comprehensibility (the item(s) can be understood as intended).

These criteria provided a basis for the design of a study on content validity. The results of that study are now available. Download the report: Assessing the content validity of the revised Health of the Nation Outcome Scales (HoNOS 2018).