Telephone assessment of behavioral inhibition and activation systems

Alejandra Pinto-Meza, David Suárez, Xavier Caseras, Josep Maria Haro, Antoni Serrano-Blanco, Rafael Torrubia

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction and objectives: The activity of behavioral inhibition and activation systems (BIS and BAS) has been related to several mental disorders. The availability of a validated questionnaire to assess BIS and BAS over the telephone could aid research. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the procedural validity of telephone administration of the sensitivity to punishment/sensitivity to reward questionnaire (SPSRQ) as a measure of BIS and BAS activity (by means of its two scales: the sensitivity to punishment [SP] scale and the sensitivity to reward [SR] scale). Methods: A total of 231 participants were assessed with the SPSRQ twice (over the telephone and in a self-administered format). Intraclass correlation coefficients and kappa indices were calculated. Additionally, possible differences between the mean scores obtained with the two assessment procedures and internal consistency were explored. Results: Telephone and self-assessment of BIS and BAS, by means of the SPSRQ, provided similar results, supporting the procedural validity of telephone administration. A slight but statistically significant tendency (estimated betha = 0.62; 95% CI, 0.33-0.92; p < 0.001) toward lower scores was observed for the telephone-administered SP scale and for the interaction "first or second assessment/telephone or self-administered SPSRQ" for the SR scale (p = 0.023). Conclusions: The results of the present study support the reliability of telephone assessment of BIS and BAS by means of the SPSRQ. © 2008 Sociedad Española de Psiquiatría y Sociedad Española de Psiquiatría Biológica. Elsevier España, S.L. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-71
JournalRevista de Psiquiatria y Salud Mental
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009


  • Behavioral activation system
  • Behavioral inhibition system
  • Telephone assessment


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