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A Psychometric Analysis of Project Liberty's Adult Enhanced Services Referral Tool


Project Liberty was the first federally funded crisis counseling program to offer evidence-informed treatments to crisis counseling recipients in need of more intensive clinical intervention. The Adult Enhanced Services Referral Tool was developed as a screening instrument for making and monitoring referrals to enhanced services. This study aimed to examine how well the tool functioned for identifying persons who would perceive a need for professional treatment.

A one-page tool was created that assessed demographic characteristics, risk categories, and psychological reactions to the focal event, September 11, 2001. Psychosocial reactions were assessed by the 12-item SPRINT-E, which is an expanded version of the Short Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Rating Interview (SPRINT). The SPRINT-E was embedded in the Adult Enhanced Services Referral Tool. Data were collected from 788 clients who received crisis counseling between June and October 2003.

The SPRINT-E is a unidimensional measure of distress and dysfunction. Internal consistency was excellent for the total sample (alpha=.93) and subsamples. Among the 543 clients offered referral, 71 percent accepted. Among those offered referral, the number of intense reactions (score of 4, quite a bit, or 5, very much) was by far the strongest predictor of referral acceptance.

The SPRINT-E was successfully integrated into the crisis counseling program and provided an apparently successful, empirical basis for referral from counseling to professional treatment. Results of the brief psychological assessment provided a stronger basis for referral to treatment than membership in a risk category (for example, family member of deceased) alone.

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Norris, Fran, Sheila Donahue, Chip Felton, Randall Marshall, Jessica Hamblen, and Patricia Watson. 2006. "A Psychometric Analysis of Project Liberty's Adult Enhanced Services Referral Tool." Psychiatric Services (September):1328-1334. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16968766

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