Classification of psychiatric inpatients with the beck instruments: A cluster-analytic approach

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Steer, Robert A.
Rissmiller, David J.
Ranieri, William F.
Beck, Aaron T.

Steer, R. A., Rissmiller, D. J., Ranieri, W. F., Beck, A. T. (1996). Classification of Psychiatric Inpatients with the Beck Instruments: A Cluster-Analytic Approach. Multivariate Experimental Clinical Research, 11(2), 89-102.


Computer-administered versions of the revised Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), Hopelessness Scale (BHS), Anxiety Inventory (BAI), and Scale for Suicide Ideation (BSI) were completed by 200 inpatients diagnosed with mixed psychiatric disorders. The BSI was then used to classify the patients into 75 (37.5%) suicide ideators and 125 (62.5%) nonideators. Ward's minimum-variance technique was next employed to identify prototypal profiles for both the ideators and nonideators, and these prototypes were subsequently entered into k-means nonhierarchical cluster analyses. The cluster analyses were independently performed with the nonideators' BDI, BHS, and BAI scores and with the ideators' BDI, BHS, BAI, and BSI scores. Three types of ideators and nonideators were identified representing anxious depressed, hopeless depressed, and below average symptomatology. The implications of these classification systems for the Beck instruments are discussed.

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