The influence of psychiatric diagnoses extends beyond psychiatry. In
psychology, Beck's (1967) work paved the way for a disorder-focused
conceptualisation of psychological distress and diagnosis-led therapies.
Consequently, Cognitive Behaviour Therapy research has focused on studying
the role of cognitive and behavioural processes in the development and/or
maintenance of symptoms, in specific psychological disorders. Recently,
theorists have highlighted the commonalities in these processes across multiple
disorders i.e. transdiagnostic approach (Harvey et a/., 2004). This is an
emerging theory, in the early stages of empirical evaluation. To identify
transdiagnostic processes of interest, a measure called the Cognitive and
Behavioural Processes Questionnaire (CBP-Q) was developed. The CBP-Q
was administered to a mixed clinical group (n=80) and a control group: student
(n=172) and community (n=57), to undertake preliminary analysis of its
psychometric properties and explore group differences. A principal component
analysis resulted in a 13-item version of the CBP-Q, consisting of one
theoretical construct. The measure demonstrated good internal consistency,
test-retest stability and satisfactory convergent and divergent validity.
Correlations with symptom-based measures showed increased engagement in
the processes to be associated with higher levels of symptomatology. The
clinical group had a significantly higher mean CBP-Q score than the control
groups. The diagnostic category was found to have no effect on CBP-Q scores,
however, due to small sample sizes this finding should be interpreted with
caution. The findings of the study are preliminary and require replication,
however, they suggest the CBP-Q has good psychometric properties.
Correlations and group comparisons support a transdiagnostic model. The
CBP-Q has the potential of being a useful clinical tool in helping to identify the
focus of therapy (i.e. clients individual needs of care), over the traditional
diagnosis-led approach. With continued empirical evaluation, the
transdiagnostic field holds promising change for clients, clinicians and services.
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