- Screening measure of general psychiatric symptomatology
- Items include dimensions measuring somatization, obsessive-compulsive, depression, anxiety, phobic anxiety, hostility, interpersonal sensitivity, paranoid ideation, and psychoticism.
- Can be used to screen for psychiatric disorders and has been found useful in quantifying a variety of emotional reactions in adults following SCI
- The SCL-90-R is best used to screen for global psychological distress.
- This questionnaire has received much research attention and as a result normative scores are available for a variety of patient and non-patient populations.
- The instrument requires a reading knowledge equivalent to that of a sixth grade education.
Body Function ▶ Mental Functions
- Self-report questionnaire
- Patients are asked to rate the severity of their experiences with 90 symptoms over the past week on a 5-point scale ranging from 0 ‘not at all’ to 4 ‘extremely’.
- The symptoms are assigned to 9 dimensions reflecting various types of psychopathology.
- Administration time is usually less than 15 minutes.
Number of Items
Items are summed for a total score
The instrument is available in English, Spanish and French.
Does not require advanced training.
Can be purchased here.
Starter kits are approximately $50.
# of studies reporting psychometric properties: 2
- The SCL-90-R is normed for 4 groups: adult psychiatric outpatients; adult non-patients; adult psychiatric inpatients; and adolescent non-patients. This information is available in the SCL-90-R manual.
- There is no normative data for the SCI population at this time.
MCID: not established
SEM: not established
MDC: not established
- Internal consistency of the cognitive/affective depression subscale is excellent (Cronbach’s a = 0.89).
- Internal consistency of the somatic depression subscale is adequate (Cronbach’s a = 0.62).
(Buckelew et al. 1988)
The SCL-90-R subscales were correlated with the Medically-Based Emotional Distress Scale (MEDS) which measures the same constructs; correlations were poor to excellent for the SCL-90-R Depression subscale (r = 0.15-0.72), SCL-90-R Hostility subscale (r = 0.14-0.72), adequate for SCL-90-R Anxiety subscale (r = 0.48-0.59) and adequate to excellent for the SCL-90-R Interpersonal Sensitivity subscale (r = 0.44-0.71).
(Buckelew et al. 1988, Overholser et al. 1993)
No values were reported for the responsiveness of the SCL-90-R for the SCI population.
No values were reported for the presence of floor/ceiling effects in the SCL-90-R for the SCI population.
Dr. Janice Eng, Christie Chan
Date Last Updated
3 August 2020
Buckelew SP, Burk JP, Brownelee-Duffeck M, Frank RG, DeGood D. Cognitive and somatic aspects of depression among a rehabilitation sample: Reliability and Validity of SCL-90-R research subscales. Rehabilitation Psychology 1988; 33: 67-75.
Derogatis LR, Melisaratos N. The Brief Symptom Inventory: in introductory report. Psychol Med 1983; 13(3): 595-605.
Frank R, Elliot T. Life stress and psychologic adjustment following spinal cord injury. American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation 1987; 68: 344-347.
Hardt J, Gerbershagen HU, Franke P. The symptom check-list, SCL-(90)-R: its use and characteristics in chronic pain patients. European Journal of Pain 2000; 4: 137-148.
Overholser JC, Schubert DSP, Foliart R, Frost F. Assessment of emotional distress following a spinal cord injury. Rehabilitation Psychology 1993; 38: 187-198.
Schurle Bruce A, Arnett PA. Longitudinal study of the Symptom Checklist 90-Revised in Multiple Sclerosis patients. The Clinical Neuropsychologist 2006; 22:46-59.