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Nomothetic outcome assessment in counseling and psychotherapy: Development and preliminary psychometric analyses of the Depression/Anxiety Negative Affect Scale

Author(s): Scott T. Meier

Journal: Psychological Test and Assessment Modeling
ISSN 2190-0493

Volume: 54;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 343;
Date: 2012;
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Keywords: Sensitivity to change | negative affect | counseling and psychotherapy outcomes

Negative affect (NA) plays a significant role in the initiation, persistence, and response to psychotherapy of many client problems (Moses & Barlow, 2006). This report describes the development of a brief NA measure, the Depression/Anxiety Negative Affect (DANA) scale, and preliminary analyses of its psychometric properties. An initial pool of DANA items was selected on the basis of a review of relevant literature about emotion science and counseling outcomes, related tests, and feedback from psychotherapists as part of a pilot test. The DANA was evaluated in two representative clinical samples where psychotherapists produced a total of 363 session ratings with 81 clients. DANA scores evidenced adequate internal consistency, evidence of convergent and discriminant validity, and sensitivity to change over the course of psychotherapy. Effect sizes (ES) of DANA scores consistently equaled or exceeded the average ES of .68 found for scales assessing the outcomes of counseling and psychotherapy in meta-analytic studies (Smith & Glass, 1977). ESs greater than 1 were found on DANA variables for clients whose therapists rated them as experiencing, rather than avoiding, NA.
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