Psychological Medicine

The Brief Social Phobia Scale: a psychometric evaluation

J. R. T. DAVIDSON a1, C. M. MINER a1, J. DE VEAUGH-GEISS a1, L. A. TUPLER a1, J. T. COLKET a1 and N. L. S. POTTS a1
a1 Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center and Glaxo Wellcome Pharmaceuticals, Research Triangle Park, Durham, NC; and Department of Psychiatry, Menninger Phoenix and St Joseph's Hospital, Phoenix, AZ, USA


The Brief Social Phobia Scale (BSPS) is an observer-rated scale designed to assess the characteristic symptoms of social phobia, using three subscales – fear, avoidance, and physiological arousal – which may be combined into a total score. Each of 18 BSPS items is anchored to a 5-point rating scale. Psychometric evaluation of the BSPS in a sample of 275 social-phobia patients yielded a high level of reliability and validity. Test–retest reliability was excellent, as was internal consistency. The fear and avoidance subscales demonstrated highly significant correlations with remaining item totals; however, the physiological subscale did not. The BSPS also demonstrated significant relationships with other established scales that assess anxiety and disability, and it proved sensitive to treatment effects in a trial of a 5-HT3 antagonist and placebo. Factor analysis yielded six meaningful factors. We conclude that the BSPS provides a reliable, valid, and sensitive measure for the evaluation of social phobia.

Address for correspondence: Dr Jonathan R. T. Davidson, PO Box 3812, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.