Reliability and validity of communication skills questionnaire (CSQ)
A new and easy evaluation method of communication skills has been developed using the Communication Skills Questionnaire (CSQ), which can be self-administered or administered by family members and medical staff. The reliability and validity of this CSQ were evaluated. Eighty-seven patients with mental disorders and 100 normal controls participated in a self-rating evaluation of the CSQ, and 55 family members and four medical personnel also participated in objective rating. The CSQ contained 29 items and these items were divided into three categories: cooperative skills (17 items), assertive skills (six items) and general communication skills (six items, mainly non-verbal skills). Internal consistencies of all groups were between 0.91 and 0.97. Test-retest reliability values for patients, family members and medical staff were between 0.90 and 0.95. Interrater reliability of medical staff was 0.73. The total scores had a moderate positive correlation with Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) score and doctor's impression of communication skill evaluated on a 10-point scale. The patient group had a lower CSQ score than that of controls and the score differences between controls and patients with schizophrenia, mood disorders or eating disorders were statistically significant. This questionnaire is a good psychometric method of evaluating the communication skills of patients.