Kennedy Axis V: Clinimetric properties assessed by mental health nurses

Authors F. Gooskens, R. van de Sande, M.D.M. Faay, Thóra Hafsteinsdóttir
Published in International Journal of Mental Health Nursing
Publication date 2013
Type Article


The Kennedy Axis V is a routine outcome measurement instrument which can assist the assessment of the short-term risk for violence and other adverse patient outcomes. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the interrater reliability and clinical utility of the instrument when used by mental health nurses in daily care of patients with mental illness. This cross-sectional study was conducted in inpatient and outpatient adult psychiatric care units and in one adolescent inpatient unit at a university hospital in the Netherlands. Interrater reliability was measured based on the independent scores of two different nurses for the same patients. The clinical utility of the instrument was evaluated by means of a clinical utility questionnaire. To gain a deeper understanding of rating difficulties at the adolescent unit, additional data were collected in two focus group interviews. The overall results revealed a substantial level of agreement between nurses (intraclass correlation coefficient and Pearson 0.79). Some rating challenges were identified, including difficulties with scoring the instrument and using tailor-made interventions related to the scores. These challenges can be resolved using refined training and implementation strategies. When the Kennedy Axis V is accompanied by a solid implementation strategy in adult mental health care, the instrument can be used for short-term risk assessment and thereby contribute in efforts to reduce violence, suicide, self-harm, severe selfneglect, and enhanced objectivity in clinical decision-making.

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Language English
Published in International Journal of Mental Health Nursing
Year and volume 22 5
Page range 453-464