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The Shedler-Westen Assessment Procedure-200 (SWAP-200) is a research psychometric instrument that consists of a clinician-report Q-sort for assessing personality and personality pathology. It is used to measure developmental changes of interest to psychodynamic therapists. It was developed by Jonathan Shelder and Drew Westen
each of 200 items derived from sources such as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders personality disorder criteria, clinical and empirical literature on personality pathology, research on normal traits and psychological health, and previous research with pilot versions of the instrument. The item set was developed over several years using standard psychometric methods.
An experienced clinician (usually a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist) rank-orders 200 test items into categories from non-descriptive to highly descriptive of the patient. Items are scored 0 (not at all characteristic) to 7 (highly characteristic).
The distribution of the SWAP-200 is similar to the right half of a leptokurtic normal curve. One hundred items are scored 0, with progressively fewer items receiving higher scores until eight items receive a score of 7. Thus, the SWAP-200 yields a score of 0 to 7 for each of the 200 items.
Reliability and validity
Research supports the reliability and validity of the SWAP-200 in predicting objective indicators of personality dysfunction such as suicide attempts, history of psychiatric hospitalizations, Global Assessment of Functioning scores, clinician diagnoses, and developmental and history variables.
A newer version of the SWAP-200, called the SWAP-II, has recently been developed and has begun to displace the SWAP-200 in research applications. The SWAP-200 has an adolescent version, the SWAP-A, for the assessment of personality and psychopathology in psychiatric and clinical psychological research on adolescents.
- Westen, D., & Shedler, J. (1999a). Revising and assessing Axis II, part 1: Developing a clinically and empirically valid assessment method. American Journal of Psychiatry, 156, 258-272.
- Westen, D., & Shedler, J. (1999b). Revising and assessing Axis II, part 2: Toward an empirically based and clinically useful classification of personality disorders. American Journal of Psychiatry, 156, 273-285.
- Wood JM, Garb HN, Nezworski MT, Koren D. (2007). The Shedler-Westen Assessment Procedure-200 as a basis for modifying DSM personality disorder categories. J Abnorm Psychol. 116(4):823-36.
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- Bradley R, Hilsenroth M, Guarnaccia C, Westen D. (2007). Relationship between clinician assessment and self-assessment of personality disorders using the SWAP-200 and PAI. Psychol Assess. 19(2):225-9.
- Loffler-Stastka H, Ponocny-Seliger E, Fischer-Kern M, Rossler-Schulein H, Leithner-Dziubas K, Schuster P. (2007). Validation of the SWAP-200 for diagnosing psychostructural organization in personality disorders. Psychopathology. 40(1):35-46.
- Marin-Avellan LE, McGauley G, Campbell C, Fonagy P. (2005). Using the SWAP-200 in a personality-disordered forensic population: is it valid, reliable and useful? Crim Behav Ment Health. 15(1):28-45.
- Lingiardi V, Shedler J, Gazzillo F. (2006). Assessing personality change in psychotherapy with the SWAP-200: a case study. J Pers Assess. 86(1):23-32.
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