Criterion-related validity of the DAPP-SF and its utility as a screener for personality disorders in outpatient care
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There is a need in clinical practice for a concise measure to screen for personality pathology in patients seeking treatment for common mental disorders, such as mood or anxiety disorders. A shortened version of the Dimensional Assessment of Personality Pathology Basic Questionnaire (DAPP-BQ)-the DAPP-Short Form (DAPP-SF), comprising 136 items (6-10 items for each dimension), was tested on its criterion-related validity and ability to screen for personality disorders. Scores on the dimensions and the second-order factors of the instrument were compared for two samples: patients with personality disorders (N = 1 091) and a community-based sample (N = 478). The mean score of the two groups differed significantly on most of the scales of the DAPP-SF, a finding in support of the criterion-related validity of the instrument. Identity problems and the second-order factor emotional dysregulation were best suited to discriminate patients with personality disorders from the control group. Cut-off values with optimum sensitivity or optimum specificity for screening of personality disorders are presented for men and women separately. In the community sample, the proposed cut-off value suggests a prevalence of 13.8% for personality disorders. Applied to a sample of patients with mood, anxiety and somatoform disorders (N = 1 329), the proposed cut-off with optimum specificity suggests a prevalence of 45.6% of personality psychopathology in this sample.