Development and evaluation of the Telephone Crisis Support Skills Scale

Taneile A. Kitchingman, Coralie J. Wilson, Peter Caputi, Alan Woodward, Tara Hunt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Although telephone services continue to play an important role in the delivery of front-line crisis support, published
evidence of the standardized assessment of such services does not exist to date. Aims: To describe the development of the Telephone Crisis
Support Skills Scale (TCSSS), an instrument to assess workers’ intentions to use recommended skills with callers, and to evaluate its factor
structure and reliability. Method: TCSSS items were mapped to a national telephone crisis support practice model. A national sample of workers
(n = 210) completed the TCSSS as part of a larger online survey. Principal axis factoring was used to evaluate the structure of the instrument.
Internal consistency was assessed by Cronbach’s α values. Results: A single factor accounted for more than 40% of the variance within TCSSS
ratings, indicating unidimensional structure. Cronbach’s α coefficients suggested adequate internal consistency. Conclusion: Results indicate that
the TCSSS is an internally consistent, unidimensional scale, sufficiently sensitive to detect workers’ skill priorities for different caller problem
types. Further study is required to confirm the factor structure and reliability of the TCSSS using workers from different organizations. Following
further evaluation, the TCSSS may be applied to assessing readiness for and quality of service delivery
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-415
Number of pages9
JournalCrisis: the Journal of Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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