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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Screening for personality disorder with the Standardised Assessment of Personality: Abbreviated Scale (SAPAS): further evidence of concurrent validity

Morten Hesse1* and Paul Moran2

Author Affiliations

1 Centre for Alcohol and Drug Research, University of Aarhus, Denmark

2 Health Services and Population Research Department, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, UK

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BMC Psychiatry 2010, 10:10  doi:10.1186/1471-244X-10-10

Published: 28 January 2010



The assessment of personality disorders (PD) is costly and time-consuming. There is a need for a brief screen for personality disorders that can be used in routine clinical settings and epidemiological surveys. Aims: To test the validity of the Standardised Assessment of Personality: Abbreviated Scale (SAPAS) as a screen for PD in a clinical sample of substance abusers.


Convergent validity of the SAPAS with both categorical and dimensional representations of personality disorders was estimated.


In this sample, the SAPAS correlated well with dimensional representations of cluster A and C personality disorders, even after controlling for ADHD symptoms, anxiety/depression symptoms and recent substance use. The SAPAS was also significantly associated with total number of PD criteria, although correlation with categorical measures of PD was weak.


The SAPAS is an valid brief screen for PD as assessed dimensionally.