Abstract

Background:

Functioning Assessment Short Test (FAST) is a brief instrument designed to assess the main functioning problems experienced by psychiatric patients, specifically bipolar patients. It includes 24 items assessing impairment or disability in six domains of functioning: autonomy, occupational functioning, cognitive functioning, financial issues, interpersonal relationships and leisure time. The aim of this study is to measure the validity and reliability of the Italian version of this instrument.

Methods:

Twenty-four patients with DSM-IV TR bipolar disorder and 20 healthy controls were recruited and evaluated in three private clinics in Cagliari (Sardinia, Italy). The psychometric properties of FAST (feasibility, internal consistency, concurrent validity, discriminant validity (patients vs controls and eutimic patients vs manic and depressed), and test-retest reliability were analyzed.

Results:

The internal consistency obtained was very high with a Cronbach's alpha of 0.955. A highly significant negative correlation with GAF was obtained (r = -0.9; p < 0.001) pointing to a reasonable degree of concurrent validity. FAST show a good test-retest reliability between two independent evaluation differing of one week (mean K =0.73). The total FAST scores were lower in controls as compared with Bipolar Patients and in Euthimic patients compared with Depressed or Manic.

Conclusion:

The Italian version of the FAST showed similar psychometrics properties as far as regard internal consistency and discriminant validity of the original version and show a good test retest reliability measure by means of K statistics.

Keywords: Functioning, Bipolar Disorders, Validity, Reliability, FAST Italian.
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