Objectives. To develop a psychometrically robust and widely applicable short form of the Derriford Appearance Scale (DAS59) which (i) will reliably and validly assess the distress and difficulties experienced in living with problems of appearance (ii) is acceptable to clinical and non- clinical populations and (iii) facilitates research and clinical decision-making through good standardisation and sensitivity.
Design. Cross-sectional survey designs using clinical (outpatient and inpatient) and general population samples.
Method. 25 items were selected initially from the 59 items of the original Derriford Scale. These were refined to 24 through item analyses and the scale was standardised on 535 patients with a range of problems of appearance and on a representative general population sample (1107)
Results. All 24 items contributed well to the total score and internal consistency was high (alpha = .92). Test retest reliability (six months) was good (.82) and criterion validity (with the DAS59) was excellent (.88). Good construct validity was demonstrated in differences between patient and general population samples and between members of the general population concerned and not-concerned about their appearance, and in patterns of convergent and divergent correlations with a range of established scales. The general population data revealed widespread concerns about appearance.
Conclusion. The DAS24 provides a widely applicable and acceptable short form of the original DAS59. It is psychometrically robust and discriminates well between patient groups, between clinical and non- clinical populations and, within the general population, between those concerned and those not-concerned about their appearance.