Improving mental health outcomes assessment with the Mental Health Inventory-21

Hennessy, Maria J., Patrick, Jeff C., and Swinbourne, Anne L. (2018) Improving mental health outcomes assessment with the Mental Health Inventory-21. Australian Psychologist, 53 (4). pp. 313-324.

[img] PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website:


Objective: There is a growing consensus that mental health should be conceptualised as a complete state that considers both illness and well-being components. In Australian mental health services, the Mental Health Inventory (MHI) is the only one of the three currently used consumer outcome measures that includes this broader perspective. However, the MHI has been criticised for its length, and variable factor structure. In order to improve the clinical utility of the MHI, a reliability and validity study of the MHI was undertaken.

Method: The original 38-item version of the MHI was administered to an Australian adult community sample (n = 616), along with two other consumer outcome measures (BASIS-32 and Kessler-10), a measure of psychological distress (DASS-21) and a measure of well-being (Satisfaction with Life Scale).

Results: Parallel analysis did not support the original factor structure of the MHI. The data indicated a correlated three-factor structure, measuring psychological distress, emotional well-being, and hopelessness. Seventeen items were deleted due to split loadings > .3, producing a shorter 21-item scale. New simplified additive scoring rules were also developed to support the practical utility of the scale.

Conclusion: Research, clinical practice and consumer feedback consistently highlight the need for a balanced assessment approach to mental health, which considers not only illness symptomatology, but also the characteristics of well-being that support recovery. Use of the three subscales of the MHI-21 would support a complete state assessment of mental health outcomes.

Item ID: 51515
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1742-9544
Keywords: mental health, assessment, consumer outcomes
Funders: Queensland Health
Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2017 05:33
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5203 Clinical and health psychology > 520304 Health psychology @ 50%
42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420313 Mental health services @ 50%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920209 Mental Health Services @ 30%
92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920204 Evaluation of Health Outcomes @ 30%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences @ 40%
Downloads: Total: 3
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page