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Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie 52 (2010) 8, 543 - 553

New research

A multi-centre study of the reliability, validity and sensitivity to change of the HONOS65+ in psychiatry for older persons

M.J. Aartsen, A.K. Spitsbaard, C. van Baarsen, A.D.F. Dhondt, M. Mascini, A. Nefs, A. Snoeijers, M. van Diest, R. Wilting

background Within the mental health care services for older persons there is a growing need for insight into and evaluation of the results of clinical treatment. The Health of the Nations Outcome Scales 65+ (honos65+) is a promising instrument for the assessment of mental, social and physical health in older persons, but it is not yet known whether it is valid for older persons in the Netherlands.
aim To assess the reliability, validity and sensibility to change of the honos65+ when applied to older persons with psychiatric disorders.
method The bio-psycho-social level of functioning of clients aged 60 and over (n = 168) receiving mental health care was assessed by means of existing and validated measuring instruments and the results were compared with those obtained with the honos65+. Three months later the population sample was re-assessed in order to test the extent to which the honos65+ was sensitive to change.
results The reliability and validity of the honos65+ could be ascertained for 168 clients aged 60 and over. After three months 116 clients were re-assessed so that the sensitivity of the honos65+ to change could be noted.
conclusion The honos65+ is a reliable and valid instrument for assessing clients with affective disorders such as depression and anxiety and for detecting changes in clients’ problems and functioning. No conclusions could be reached regarding the reliability and validity of the honos65+ when used for clients with other psychiatric disorders because the clinical subgroups were too small for patterns to be detected.

keywords honos65+, validity study, psychiatry for older persons