The feasibility of the use of multiple informant reports in clinical practice was examined in a sample of 105 psychiatric outpatients who provided self-ratings and (2–3) informants’ reports on the Five Factor Personality Inventory. The response rate was 97%. The patients assessed themselves as less extraverted and more emotionally stable than their proxies did. In addition, the significance of self–other disagreement was investigated. Our first hypothesis, stating that self–other disagreement would correlate with (personality) pathology, was confirmed: self–other disagreement predominantly occurred in introverted, shy, hostile and depressed persons who tended to have more personality problems and co-morbidity. We found no support for our second hypothesis, stating that self–other disagreement would predict a diminished therapy effect. An important finding, however, was that self–other disagreement proved to be a strong predictor of dropout. Furthermore, a decrease in depression, hostility and shyness was positively correlated with a decrease in self–other disagreement. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Key Practitioner Message:
• The use of multiple informants in personality assessment is a feasible enterprise in clinical practice.
• Self–other disagreement in personality assessment predominantly occurs in introverted, shy, hostile and depressed patients.
• Self–other disagreement is found more often in patients with personality problems and co-morbidity.
• Self–other disagreement, in particular on conscientiousness, proves to be a strong predictor of dropout.