Development of a brief version of the social phobia inventory using item response theory: The MINI-SPIN-R

Idan M. Aderka, Mark H. Pollack, Naomi M. Simon, Jasper A.J. Smits, Michael Van Ameringen, Murray B. Stein, Stefan G. Hofmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Social Phobia Inventory (SPIN) is a widely used measure in mental health settings and a 3-item version (mini-SPIN) has been developed as a screening instrument for social anxiety disorder. In the present study, we examined the psychometric properties of the SPIN and developed a brief version (mini-SPIN-R) designed to assess social anxiety severity using item response theory. Our sample included 569 individuals with social anxiety disorder who participated in 2 clinical trials and filled out a battery of self-report measures. Using a nonparametric kernel smoothing method we identified the most sensitive items of the SPIN. These 3 items comprised the mini-SPIN-R, which was found to have greater internal consistency, and to capture a greater range of symptoms compared to the mini-SPIN. The mini-SPIN-R evidenced superior convergent validity compared to the mini-SPIN and both measures had similar divergent validity. Thus, the mini-SPIN-R is a promising brief measure of social anxiety severity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)651-661
Number of pages11
JournalBehavior Therapy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Dr. Van Ameringen is supported by research grants from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation (CFI), Janssen-Ortho Inc., NIH (National Institutes of Health), Pfizer Inc., and Wyeth-Ayerst. He is a member of the speakers' bureau for Biovail, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen-Ortho Inc., Lundbeck, Pfizer Inc. He is on the advisory boards of Astra Zeneca, Biovail, Eli Lilly, Janssen-Ortho Inc., Labo Pharm, Lundbeck, Pfizer Inc., Servier, Shire.

Funding Information:
Dr. Hofmann is a paid consultant by Merck/Schering-Plough and supported by NIMH grant 1R01MH078308 for studies unrelated to the present investigation.

Funding Information:
Dr. Simon is supported by research grants from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Forest Laboratories, NIMH, and DOD. She has received support from MGH Psychiatry Academy for CME activities.

Funding Information:
Dr. Smits is currently supported by NIH Grants R34DA031038 and R01DA027533 and receives royalties from Oxford University Press. During the past 3 years, he has received grant support from Organon/Schering-Plough (now Merck).

Funding Information:
Dr. Pollack is a consultant (or on the advisory board) for the following organizations: Brain Cells, Eli Lilly, Johnson and Johnson, Medavante, Labopharm, Mindsite, Sepracor, Targia Pharmaceuticals, and Pfizer. He is supported by research grants from Bristol Myers Squibb, Euthymics, Forest Laboratories, GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly, NCCAM, NIDA, NIMH, Sepracor. He has received support from Astra-Zeneca, Sepracor, Pfizer, and has equity in Medavante, Mensante Corporation, Mindsite, and Targia Pharmaceuticals, for CME activities. He receives royalties for the following patents: SIGH-A, and SAFER interviews.

Funding Information:
Dr. Stein is supported by research grants from the National Institue of Mental Health (NIMH), the Department of Veterans Affiars (VA), the Department of Defense (DOD), Eli Lilly and Company, and Hoffmann-La Roche. In the previous 3 years he has been a consultant for Bristol-Myers Squibb, Sepracor, Jazz Pharmaceuticals, Forest Laboratories, Inc., Comprehensive Neurosciences Inc., and GlaxoSmithKline, Inc.


  • Assessment
  • Item response theory
  • Psychometric properties
  • Social anxiety disorder
  • Social phobia inventory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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