The Multidimensional scale of independent functioning: A new instrument for measuring functional disability in psychiatric populations

Judith Jaeger, Stefanie M. Berns, Pál Czobor

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

103 Citations (Scopus)


The Multidimensional Scale of Independent Functioning (MSIF) is a new instrument for rating functional disability in psychiatric outpatients. The MSIF differs from other disability rating scales by providing discrete ratings of (1) role responsibility, (2) presence and level of support, and (3) performance quality. The MSIF, which consists of a semistructured interview and detailed rating anchors, was validated in 114 psychiatric outpatients. The instrument had good criterion, discriminative, interrater, and construct validity. Correlations between comparable ratings on the Social Adjustment Scale II (SAS II) ranged from 0.78 to 0.86. Nevertheless, redundancy analysis using canonical correlation demonstrated that, although the two instruments overlap, the MSIF contains information that is not contained in the SAS II. Furthermore, there was only modest shared variance with conceptually non-overlapping subscales in the SAS II. Interrater reliability (intraclass correlation coefficients) ranged from 0.74 to 1.00 for global and subscale scores. MSIF subscales performed as expected with respect to external validators such as hours of employment, earned income, supported versus nonsupported employment and housing, and mainstream versus nonmainstream educational status. MSIF global ratings were modestly correlated with IQ and psychopathology ratings, consistent with reports in the literature. Construct validity, estimated using Cronbach's alpha coefficient, was 0.72. The MSIF is a promising new instrument designed to circumvent several limitations with existing functional outcome instruments for longitudinal studies, intervention research, and services research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-167
Number of pages15
JournalSchizophrenia Bulletin
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2003



  • Disability
  • Functional outcome
  • Independent functioning
  • Intervention research
  • Rating scales

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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