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African Health Sciences
Makerere University Medical School
ISSN: 1680-6905
EISSN: 1680-6905
Vol. 13, No. 1, 2013, pp. 78-81
Bioline Code: hs13012
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

African Health Sciences, Vol. 13, No. 1, 2013, pp. 78-81

 en Effect of brief training on reliability and applicability of Global Assessment of functioning scale by Psychiatric clinical officers in Uganda
Abbo, C; Okello, ES & Nakku, J


Background: The Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) is the standard method and an essential tool for representing a clinician's judgment of a patient's overall level of psychological, social and occupational functioning. As such, it is probably the single most widely used method for assessing impairment among the patients with psychiatric illnesses.
Objective: To assess the effects of one-hour training on application of the GAF by Psychiatric Clinical Officers' in a Ugandan setting.
Method:Five Psychiatrists and five Psychiatric Clinical Officers (PCOs) or Assistant Medical Officers who hold a 2 year diploma in Clinical Psychiatry were randomly selected to independently rate a video-recorded psychiatric interview according to the DSM IV-TR. The PCOs were then offered a one-hour training on how to rate the GAF scale and asked to rate the video case interview again. All ratings were assigned on the basis of past one year, at admission and current functioning. Interclass correlations (ICC) were computed using two-way mixed models.
Results:The ICC between the psychiatrists and the PCOs before training in the past one year, at admission and current functioning were +0.48, +0.51 and +0.59 respectively. After training, the ICC coefficients were +0.60, +0.82 and +0.83.
Conclusion:Brief training given to PCOs improved the applications of their ratings of GAF scale to acceptable levels. There is need for formal training to this cadre of psychiatric practitioners in the use of the GAF.

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