Background Patients' perspectives concerning impaired functioning provide important information.

Aims To evaluate the reliability and validity of the Work and Social Adjustment Scale (WSAS).

Method Data from two studies were analysed. Reliability analyses included internal scale consistency, test—retest and parallel forms. Convergent and criterion validities were examined with respect to disorder severity.

Results Cronbach's α measure of internal scale consistency ranged from 0.70 to 0.94. Test—retest correlation was 0.73. Interactive voice response administrations of the WSAS gave correlations of 0.81 and 0.86 with clinician interviews. Correlations of WSAS with severity of depression and obsessive—compulsive disorder symptoms were 0.76 and 0.61, respectively. The scores were sensitive to patient differences in disorder severity and treatment-related change.

Conclusions The WSAS is a simple, reliable and valid measure of impaired functioning. It is a sensitive and useful outcome measure offering the potential for readily interpretable comparisons across studies and disorders.

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