A psychometric comparison of the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20) and the Observer Alexithymia Scale (OAS) in an alcohol-dependent sample
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Alexithymia is characterised by deficits in emotional insight and self-reflection that impact on the efficacy of psychological treatments. Given the high prevalence of alexithymia in Alcohol Use Disorders, valid assessment tools are critical. The majority of research on the relationship between alexithymia and alcohol-dependence has employed the self-administered Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20), The Observer Alexithymia Scale (OAS) has also been recommended. The aim of the present study was to assess the validity and reliability of the OAS and the TAS-20 in an alcohol-dependent sample. Two hundred and ten alcohol-dependent participants in an outpatient Cognitive Behavioral Treatment program were administered the TAS-20 at assessment and upon treatment completion at 12 weeks. Clinical psychologists provided observer assessment data for a subsample of f59 patients, The findings confirmed acceptable internal consistency, test-retest reliability and scale homogeneity for both the OAS and TAS-20, except for the low internal consistency of the TAS-20 EOT scale. The TAS-20 was more strongly associated with alcohol problems than the OAS.
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