Beck Hopelessness Scale (BHS) Print E-mail

Original Citation - Beck AT, Weissman A, Lester D, Trexler L.The measurement of pessimism: The Hopelessness Scale. J Consult Clin Psychol. 1974 Dec;42(6):861-5. View in PubMed 

Price & Availability - Original items published in original citation.  Available for purchase through instrument website. 

Brief Description of Instrument - Assesses three aspects of hopelessness:  feelings about the future, loss of motivation and expectations.  Useful for predicting eventual suicide. 

Administration Time - 5-10 minutes. 

Scale Format - True/false, 20 items. 

Administration Technique - Self-administered questionnaire or may be administered via interview. 

Scoring and Interpretation - Use scoring key to assign a score of 0 or 1 to each item response.  Sum item scores to calculate total score. 

Factors and Norms - Three factors:  affective, motivational, and cognitive aspects of hopelessness. 

Internal Consistency - Coefficient alpha = 0.93. 

Construct Validity - Scale used in hypothesis testing relevant to hopelessness.   Please see original citation for details. 

Criterion-Related Validity - Hopelessness scale scores found to correlate with clinical ratings of hopelessness, Stuart Future Test and pessimism item of the Beck Depression Inventory. 

Responsive to Change Over Time - Change detected in psychiatric inpatients assessed during hospitalization and again at discharge. 

Content & Face Validity - Item development based on a similar scale, a test of attitudes about the future as well as pessimistic statements made by psychiatric patients who were judged by clinicians to appear hopeless.  Scale refined through pilot testing and expert review. 

Published APN Studies Using Instrument - Adams P. Insight: a mental health prevention intervention.  Nurs Clin North Am. 2000 Jun;35(2):329-38.  View in PubMed  

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