Developing a tool to assess competency to consent to psychiatric hospitalization (KATOC): Reliability and validity

Mi Kyung Seo, Seung Hyun Kim, Minkyu Rhee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


Objective The justification of informed consent requires that a patient be provided with the information necessary for deciding treatment and able to use such information based on reasonable thinking. The clinical decision to consider anyone who has mental disorder as incompetence without objective assessment does not only encroach human rights of the persons with mental illness, but seriously prevent them from being recovered. Hence the objective assessment of competency is needed in mental health. Our study aimed to develop the Korean Tool of Competency to Consent to Psychiatric Hospitalization and to analyze the reliability and validity of this tool. Methods Totally 98 patients with mental illness who were hospitalized in mental hospital, participated in this study. For the subjects a questionnaire composing of 22 questions of understanding, appreciation, reasoning and expression of a choice was used. To investigate validity of this tool, MMSE-K, insight test, estimated IQ, BPRS were conducted. Its reliability and usefulness were examined with Cronbach's alpha, ICC and ROC analysis respectively and criterion related validation performed. Results As results, this tool shows that agreement between raters is relatively high and the confirmatory factor analysis for constructive validation shows that the tool is valid. Also, for criterion related validation, estimated IQ, insight and MMSE are significantly correlated to understanding, appreciation and reasoning. However competence to express a choice did not show any significant correlation with criterion variables, nor showed BPRS any significant correlation with sub-competences. Conclusion Our study developed the Korean Tool of Competency to Consent to Psychiatric Admission Treatment in the Mentally Ill, verified the reliability and validity of the tool and analyzed the optimum cutoff to distinguish between competence and incompetence in sub-competences. Korean Assessment Tool of Competency to Consent to Psychiatric Hospitalization (KATOC), analyzed the reliability and validity of this tool and presented the cutoff points by subarea. As a result, the reliability and validity of satisfactory levels were verified, the ROC analysis was implemented based on the clinical assessment and the cutoff points were found in understanding, appreciation, expression of a choice and reasoning. Such findings showed that the tool developed by researchers could be very favorably used in Korea.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-48
Number of pages10
JournalPsychiatry Investigation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Mar 1



  • Competency to consent
  • Informed consent
  • Korea assessment tool of competency
  • Mental illness
  • ROC analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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