The Health of the Nation Outcome Scales was developed to routinely measure outcomes for adults with mental illness. Comparable instruments were also developed for children and adolescents (the Health of the Nation Outcome Scales for Children and Adolescents) and older people (the Health of the Nation Outcome Scales 65+). All three are being widely used as outcome measures in the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. There is, however, no comprehensive review of these instruments. This paper fills this gap by reviewing the psychometric properties of each.
Articles and reports relating to the instruments were retrieved, and their findings synthesised to assess the instruments' validity (content, construct, concurrent, predictive), reliability (test-retest, inter-rater), sensitivity to change, and feasibility/utility.
Mostly, the instruments perform adequately or better on most dimensions, although some of their psychometric properties warrant closer examination.
Collectively, the Health of the Nation Outcome Scales family of measures can assess outcomes for different groups on a range of mental health-related constructs, and can be regarded as appropriate for routinely monitoring outcomes.