Kessler Psychological Distress Scale Urdu K-10

Aamir Ranjha

Kessler Psychological Distress Scale Urdu K-10

Kessler Psychological Distress Scale Urdu K-10

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About Kessler Psychological Distress Scale Urdu K-10

Scale Name

Kessler Psychological Distress Scale Urdu K-10

Author Details

Ghafoor, Sitwat, and Kausar

Translation Availability

Not Sure

Kessler Psychological Distress Scale Urdu K-10
Kessler Psychological Distress Scale Urdu K-10


The K10 Urdu is a valuable tool for assessing mental well-being in Urdu-speaking communities. Developed by Ghafoor, Sitwat, and Kausar in 2010, it’s a short and easy-to-use questionnaire that can help identify individuals experiencing psychological distress.

What it measures:

The K10 Urdu focuses on emotional states experienced in the past 4 weeks.
It asks 10 simple questions about anxiety and depressive symptoms, like feeling restless, down, or hopeless.
You respond on a 5-point scale, ranging from “none of the time” to “all of the time”.

Why it matters:

Early detection of psychological distress is crucial for timely intervention and preventing potential complications.
The K10 Urdu helps healthcare professionals:
Identify individuals who may benefit from further mental health evaluation or therapy.
Monitor changes in distress over time, assessing treatment effectiveness.
Conduct research on mental health in Urdu-speaking populations.

Benefits of using the K10 Urdu:

Simple and quick: Takes only minutes to complete, making it accessible for various settings.
Culturally adapted: Caters to the specific expressions of distress in Urdu-speaking individuals.
Validated and reliable: Proven effective in accurately measuring psychological distress in this population.

Administration, Scoring and Interpretation

The K10 Urdu is a simple yet effective tool for assessing mental well-being. Here’s how you can administer it effectively:

Before you begin:

  • Gather materials: You’ll need the K10 Urdu questionnaire (available online or translated by yourself) and a pen/pencil. Ensure a quiet, private space for the participant.
  • Rapport building: Introduce yourself and explain the purpose of the questionnaire. Emphasize confidentiality and their right to skip or stop answering at any time.
  • Instructions: Briefly explain the questionnaire format: 10 questions about emotions in the past 4 weeks, answered on a 5-point scale. Ensure they understand the scale options (e.g., 1= “none of the time”, 5= “all of the time”).

Administering the K10 Urdu:

  • Read each question clearly and slowly. Encourage the participant to think about the past 4 weeks when responding.
  • Avoid prompting or influencing their answers. Remain neutral and simply repeat the question if needed.
  • Allow ample time for responses. Don’t rush them, but gently remind them to answer all questions if they seem to get lost.
  • Clarify any misunderstandings. If a question seems unclear, rephrase it in simpler Urdu or provide brief examples.
  • Respect their privacy. Thank them for their time and assure them that their responses will be kept confidential.

Reliability and Validity

The Urdu version of the K10, developed by Ghafoor, Sitwat, and Kausar in 2010, has been rigorously evaluated for its reliability and validity in assessing psychological distress among Urdu-speaking populations. Here’s a summary of their findings:


  • Internal consistency: High Cronbach’s alpha coefficients (0.88) indicate strong internal consistency, meaning the items consistently measure the same underlying construct of psychological distress.
  • Test-retest reliability: Moderate correlations (0.70-0.80) between scores taken weeks apart suggest good stability over time, implying the K10 Urdu yields consistent results.


  • Concurrent validity: Strong correlations (0.70-0.80) with other established measures of psychological distress, like the SRQ-20, show the K10 Urdu accurately reflects the same construct.
  • Discriminant validity: Moderate correlations (0.40-0.50) with measures of specific mental disorders (e.g., depression, anxiety) suggest the K10 Urdu can differentiate between general distress and specific diagnoses.
  • Sensitivity and specificity: Analyses using cut-off scores demonstrate good ability to identify individuals likely experiencing clinically significant distress, with sensitivity around 75% and specificity around 85%.

Available Versions



Hassan, M., ul Haq, B., & Farooq, A. (2022). Psychological Distress, Emotional Intelligence, and Sleep Quality among University Students. Pakistan Journal of Applied Psychology (PJAP)2(2), 147-156.

Important Link

Scale File:

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What does it measure?
A: Anxiety, depression, and overall psychological distress in the past 4 weeks.

Q: How is it administered?
A: 10 simple questions, rated on a 5-point scale, taking only minutes to complete.

Q: Who developed the Urdu version?
A: Ghafoor, Sitwat, and Kausar in 2010.

Q: Is it reliable and valid?
A: Yes, studies show it’s accurate and consistent in measuring distress in Urdu-speaking populations.

Q: When should it be used?
A: To screen for mental health problems, track changes over time, or assess treatment effectiveness.

Q: Is it a diagnostic tool?
A: No, it’s a screening tool. A mental health professional should interpret the results and diagnose.


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I am a senior clinical psychologist with over 11years of experience in the field. I am the founder of Psychology Roots, a platform that provides solutions and support to learners and professionals in psychology. My goal is to help people understand and improve their mental health, and to empower them to live happier and healthier lives.

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