What is the CAPP?
The Comprehensive Assessment of Psychopathic Personality (CAPP) has been developed to assess the symptoms of psychopathic personality disorder (PPD). Two important features distinguish the CAPP from other tests of PPD; it is comprehensive and it is dynamic.
The CAPP covers the full domain of PPD symptomatology. This means the CAPP is potentially useful in a variety of settings (e.g. correctional, forensic psychiatric, civil psychiatric, community and family), rather than being optimized for use in a single setting.
The CAPP can be used to assess the severity of symptoms over discrete time periods, in addition to lifetime severity. This means the CAPP is potentially useful when it is necessary to measure changes in the severity of symptoms over time (e.g. when studying their developmental course, response to treatment, reaction to situational changes or variation in relation to the course of an axis one disorder). At present it is unclear to what extent traits of personality disorder change over time (if at all) or why they might change, but it is impossible to answer these questions empirically without a test that is (theoretically) sensitive to change.
Family of tests
The CAPP actually comprises a family of tests – all currently under development, and therefore experimental in nature – based on the same model of PPD. The current version, the Institutional Rating Scale or CAPP-IRS, is designed for use in secure treatment facilities (e.g. forensic psychiatric hospitals, civil psychiatric facilities, special hospital, prisons) where severe PPD symptomatology is relatively common and where important decisions (e.g. classification, programming, and release) may be based in part on apparent changes in PPD symptomatology over time. The CAPP-IRS permits trained observers to rate the recent severity of PPD symptoms; the time frame for rating symptoms is 6 months, and for each symptom we provide a list of behavioural indicators relevant to institutional adjustment. This family of instruments will include a Staff Rating Scale Version and a Life-Time Version.
Suite of instruments available
CAPP Symptom Rating Scale (CAPP SRS)
The CAPP SRS is an expert observer ratings scale designed for use by trained evaluators to measure the overall severity of PPD symptoms, as well as separate ratings of trait extremity and functional impairment for each symptom. The ratings are based on all available clinical
data, including such things as interviews with the assessee and collateral informants, clinical records, and behavioural observations. Evaluators can specify the timeframe for ratings (e.g., lifetime, past 5 years, past year, past 6 months). The CAPP SRS may be used for clinical or research purposes.
Two tools are available that evaluators may (optionally) use to gather information on which ratings are based:
CAPP SRS-Clinical Interview (CAPP SRS-CI). This is a semi-structured interview designed for use for use by expert (i.e., trained) evaluators with the assessee to collect information about PPD symptoms, including trait extremity and functional impairment.
CAPP SRS-Informant Report (CAPP SRS-IR). This is a self-administered rating scale designed for use with collateral informants who are familiar with the person’s functioning (e.g., nurses, prison officers, case workers, relatives) that collects information about PPD symptoms, including their ratings of overall symptom severity ratings of trait extremity based on the three adjectival descriptors used to define eachsymptom, and the presence of illustrative indicators (e.g., key examples of associated problematic behaviours).
CAPP Lexical Rating Scale (CAPP LRS)
The CAPP LRS is a self-administered rating scale designed for use by diverse groups (experts, lay people, target persons) to measure either the prototypicality of PPD symptoms in one or more target groups or the trait extremity (not the functional impairment or overall severity)
of PPD symptoms in one or more target persons. The CAPP LRS is used for research purposes.
Three different versions of the CAPP LRS are available:
CAPP LRS-Prototypicality Rating Form (CAPP LRS-PRF) is designed for use by diverse groups (experts, lay people, target persons) to measure either the prototypicality of PPD symptoms in one or more target groups. The CAPP LRS-PRF can be used to make ratings of the 33 PPD symptoms in the CAPP concept map, as well as (optionally) 9 “foil” symptoms of personality disorder that are theoretically unrelated to PPD (for comparative purposes).
CAPP LRS-Informant Rating Form (CAPP LRS-IRF) is designed for use by diverse groups (experts, lay people, target persons) to measure the trait extremity of PPD symptoms in target persons with whom they are familiar (e.g., patients, offenders, friends, relatives).
CAPP LRS-Self Rating Form (CAPP LRS-SRF) is designed for use by diverse groups (experts, lay people, target persons) to measure the trait extremity of PPD symptoms in themselves.
CAPP Self Report (CAPP SR)
The CAPP SR is a self-report scale designed for use by target persons to measure the overall severity of PPD symptoms. It comprises 99 items (3 for each of 33 PPD symptoms) in the form of declarative statements written in first person singular, and assessees rate the degree to which each statement applies to them on a 4-point Likert-type scale, based on a lifetime timeframe. The CAPP SR does not allow, or provide, separate measures of trait extremity and functional impairment.