Behaviour ratings and checklists

These are judgements about the quality or characteristics of behaviour, completed on the basis of direct observation of the behaviour in question, with the rater often being a nurse or day- or residential-care worker, or a family member or informal carer. Typically, such ratings may be completed after an observation period varying from a few hours to a few days, so that there is then a variable delay between the observation of the relevant behaviour and the rating. The British Health of the Nation Outcome Scale (HONOS)(5) is an example of this type. Each HONOS item consists of an item title (for example, item 1 is titled overactive, aggressive, disruptive, or agitated behaviour), followed by five response categories, ranging from 0 (no problem) to 4 (severe to very severe problem), with a verbal description of up to about 25 words of the behaviour typical of each response category. An account of the ratings completed on the basis of a clinical interview is given in Chapter 1,.1QJ.,

Checklists are essentially the same type of method, except that by definition they simply allow a Yes/No, or Present/Absent response, without a more complex gradation of the response. Checklists may be completed by the patient as part of a behavioural programme.

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