eCite Digital Repository

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


Hennessy, MJ and Patrick, JC and Swinbourne, AL, Improving mental health outcomes assessment with the Mental Health Inventory-21, Australian Psychologist pp. 1-12. ISSN 1742-9544 (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 The Australian Psychological Society

DOI: doi:10.1111/ap.12330


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 Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:consumer outcomes, factor analysis, mental health, psychological assessment, validity, well-being
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Health services and systems not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Evaluation of health and support services
Objective Field:Evaluation of health and support services not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Patrick, JC (Dr Jeff Patrick)
ID Code:122622
Year Published:2017
Deposited By:TSBE
Deposited On:2017-11-21
Last Modified:2018-05-24

Repository Staff Only: item control page