Open Access Research article

The factor structure and psychometric properties of the Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation – Outcome Measure (CORE-OM) in Norwegian clinical and non-clinical samples

Ingunn Skre1*, Oddgeir Friborg14, Sigmund Elgarøy2, Chris Evans3, Lars Henrik Myklebust45, Kjersti Lillevoll1, Knut Sørgaard56 and Vidje Hansen46

Author Affiliations

1 Department of psychology, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway

2 Sami national competence centre for mental health services (SANKS), Finnmark health trust, Lakselv, Norway

3 Nottinghamshire healthcare NHS trust, Nottingham, UK

4 Centre for psychiatric research, University hospital of North Norway, Tromsø, Norway

5 Psychiatric research centre of North Norway, Nordland hospital trust, Bodø, Norway

6 Department of clinical medicine, University of Tromsø, Tromsø, Norway

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BMC Psychiatry 2013, 13:99  doi:10.1186/1471-244X-13-99

Published: 22 March 2013



The Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation - Outcome Measure (CORE-OM) is a 34-item instrument developed to monitor clinically significant change in out-patients. The CORE-OM covers four domains: well-being, problems/symptoms, functioning and risk, and sums up in two total scores: the mean of All items, and the mean of All non-risk items. The aim of this study was to examine the psychometric properties of the Norwegian translation of the CORE-OM.


A clinical sample of 527 out-patients from North Norwegian specialist psychiatric services, and a non-clinical sample of 464 persons were obtained. The non-clinical sample was a convenience sample consisting of friends and family of health personnel, and of students of medicine and clinical psychology. Students also reported psychological stress. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was employed in half the clinical sample. Confirmatory (CFA) factor analyses modelling the theoretical sub-domains were performed in the remaining half of the clinical sample. Internal consistency, means, and gender and age differences were studied by comparing the clinical and non-clinical samples. Stability, effect of language (Norwegian versus English), and of psychological stress was studied in the sub-sample of students. Finally, cut-off scores were calculated, and distributions of scores were compared between clinical and non-clinical samples, and between students reporting stress or no stress.


The results indicate that the CORE-OM both measures general (g) psychological distress and sub-domains, of which risk of harm separates most clearly from the g factor. Internal consistency, stability and cut-off scores compared well with the original English version. No, or only negligible, language effects were found. Gender differences were only found for the well-being domain in the non-clinical sample and for the risk domain in the clinical sample. Current patient status explained differences between clinical and non-clinical samples, also when gender and age were controlled for. Students reporting psychological distress during last week scored significantly higher than students reporting no stress. These results further validate the recommended cut-off point of 1 between clinical and non-clinical populations.


The CORE-OM in Norwegian has psychometric properties at the same level as the English original, and could be recommended for general clinical use. A cut-off point of 1 is recommended for both genders.

Outcome measure; CORE-OM; Translation; Reliability; Confirmatory factor analysis