First Advisor

Nancy Koroloff

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work




Multi-dimensional outcome measure, Mental health services -- Evaluation



Physical Description

1 online resource (90 p.)


The purpose of the study was to explore the inter-rater reliability of the Multi-Dimensional Outcome Measure (MDOM) in the following areas: overall reliability, differences in reliability between samples, differences in reliability between scales, and increasing reliability over time. The study was to assist mental health professionals by clarifying the technical properties of an evaluation tool which could be used to document program outcomes for policy makers and to develop more effective treatment methodologies. The MDOM was administered to two groups, a mentally and emotionally disturbed sample of thirty-five Subjects from an inpatient facility and a normal sample of thirty-three community college Subjects. The MDOM was given in back-to-back interviews by two interviewers alternating in first interviewer, second interviewer roles. The data indicated acceptable inter-rater reliability for the Multi-Dimensional Outcome Measure. For anyone sample, all twelve scales showed acceptable reliability according to the criterion of a .75 product moment correlation coefficient. However, four scales did not meet the .75 level: Productivity I (.55), Productivity II (.74), Interpersonal Isolation--Family (.71) when administered to the inpatient sample, and Drug Abuse (.74) when administered to the community college sample. Assessment of the differences in reliability between samples showed higher reliability for the community college sample than for the inpatient sample with the exception of the Drug Abuse scale. Exploration of the differences in reliability between scales showed some scales contained items which were more relevant for the college student than for the inpatient. Other scales included items which were ambiguous or worded in an awkward manner which may have contributed to their lower reliability. Reliability could be increased as a result of the increased skill and clarification of questionable items. Scales which demonstrated unacceptable reliability the first weeks of the study indicated an acceptable level the last week. The data suggested that interviewers should be trained to insure acceptable reliability. The MDOM was seen to be suitable for monitoring the functioning of a community based sample; however, consideration should be given to the inherent limitations before administering the instrument to an inpatient sample.


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