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Social functioning questionnaire

Reference number: 7996

8-question tool for quick assessment of social functioning. Validated in study of over 4,000 subjects.

Proposed use

The Social Functioning Questionnaire (SFQ) is a leading research tool for assessing perceived social function and was developed to be quick and easy to administer - following the need for a quick assessment of perceived social function.

Problem addressed

Social functioning is an important aspect of psychological wellbeing, and is increasingly recognised as an important element of mental health assessment. The handicap created by poor social functioning is regarded as at least as important as that created by symptoms, however, social functioning is recorded much less often than mental state ratings in research studies, and this may be because there are no published measures that are brief.

Technology overview

The Social Functioning Questionnaire (SFQ) is a leading research tool for assessing perceived social function. It was developed from the Social Functioning Schedule (SFS), a semi-structured interview which has been used primarily with non-psychotic patients and has good test-retest and inter-rater reliability as well as construct validity. The SFQ was developed as an alternative that is quicker to administer - following the need for a quick assessment of perceived social function.

The original SFS took the form of a semi-structured interview, covering 14 domains of functioning. This was later refined in the SFQ to 8 questions covering the 'essential' aspects of social interaction: work and home tasks, financial concerns, relationships with family, sexual activities, social contacts, and spare time activities.

While other commonly used self-rating tools, such as the Short-form 36 health survey questionnaire (SF-36) (Ware & Sherbourne, 1992) and the Social Adjustment Scale Self-Report (SAS-SR)
(Weissman & Bothwell, 1976) take up to around 20 minutes to complete, the Social Functioning Questionnaire takes only around 4 minutes.

The social functioning questionnaire has been validated in several studies, including the EMPIRIC study, which involved over 4000 subjects.

Benefits

  • 8-question survey - fast to administer
  • Covers key aspects of social interaction, as determined by multiple interviews
  • Validated in at least one large trial (n>4000)

Intellectual property information

Copyright

Published paper(s)


Tyrer, P, Merson, S, Harrison-Read, P, Lynch, S, Birkett, P, Onyett, S (1990). A pilot study of the effects of early intervention on clinical symptoms and social functioning in psychiatric emergencies, Irish Journal of Psychological Medicine 7(2), 132-134.

Tyrer, P, Nur, U, Crawford, M, Karlson, S, MacLean, C, Rao, B, Johnson, T (2005). The Social Functioning Questionnaire: a rapid and robust measure of perceived functioning, International Journal of Social Psychiatry 51(3), 265-75.

Inventor information

Professor Peter Tyrer, Emeritus Professor in Community Psychiatry

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contact

Alexandra Skeaping

Industry Partnerships and Commercialisation Officer, Medicine

a.skeaping@imperial.ac.uk

+44 (0)20 7594 7021

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