Revising the Self-Harm Antipathy Scale: validation among staff in psychiatric healthcare in Sweden

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Background: The Self-Harm Antipathy Scale (SHAS) is a questionnaire designed to measure nurses’ attitudes towards self-harm. This can be useful to improve the quality of care provided to individuals who self-harm. Aim: The purpose of this study was to revise and adapt the SHAS for use in Sweden and evaluate the psychometric properties of this Swedish version (Self-Harm Antipathy Scale–Swedish Revised; SHAS-SR). Methods: A sample of 596 employees within psychiatric healthcare was recruited (from a total of 3507, response rate 17.0%), the majority encountering self-harming individuals regularly at work. Participants completed the SHAS-SR questionnaire along with a scale assessing community attitudes towards individuals with mental illness (New CAMI-S). The sample was randomly split in half (n = 298 each). Exploratory factor analysis was performed on one subsample and confirmatory on the other. Confirmatory factor analysis on the original SHAS model, and convergent validity testing against New CAMI-S, used the whole sample. Results: The final version of the SHAS-SR included 17 items forming three factors. Convergent validity was established (r = −0.57, ρ = −0.48, p < 0.001). The SHAS-SR and all its subscales demonstrated acceptable internal consistency (α = 0.73–0.79, ω = 0.78–0.79). Conclusion: This study indicates that the SHAS-SR is reliable and valid when assessing attitudes towards self-harm among a sample of Swedish psychiatric healthcare staff. The scale could be useful for assessing the impact of attitude interventions to improve healthcare services. It may, however, have limited applicability for staff not working in caring roles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)429-438
Number of pages10
JournalNordic Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number6
Early online date2020 Mar 4
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Nursing
  • Psychiatry

Free keywords

  • attitudes
  • psychiatric care
  • questionnaire
  • Self-harm
  • validation


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