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Kessler Psychological Distress Scale
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About Scale Name
Kessler Psychological Distress Scale
The Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10) was developed by Dr. Ronald C. Kessler, a professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School.
The Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10) has been translated into many languages. Some of the languages it has been translated to include: Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Russian, Greek, and many more.
The Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10) is a widely used questionnaire that assesses the level of psychological distress in a person. It was developed by Dr. Ronald C. Kessler, a professor of health care policy at Harvard Medical School, and was first published in 2002. The K10 measures symptoms of anxiety and depression, and is often used as a screening tool for mental health problems.
The K10 consists of 10 items, each of which is scored on a 5-point Likert scale, with higher scores indicating a higher level of distress. The items ask about the frequency of symptoms in the past four weeks. The total score ranges from 10 to 50, with a cut-off score of 22 or higher indicating a need for further assessment or treatment.
The K10 has been widely used in research and clinical settings and is considered to be a reliable and valid measure of psychological distress. It has been translated into many languages, such as Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, Arabic, Russian, Greek, and many more. It is widely used in research studies, clinical practice, and population health surveys.
The K10 has been used to measure the prevalence of psychological distress in different populations, the impact of mental health problems on quality of life, and the effectiveness of treatments. It’s also been used to identify individuals who may be at risk for mental disorders or who may benefit from early intervention.
The Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10) is designed to assess psychological distress in adults. It has been used in a variety of populations, including the general population, primary care patients, and individuals with specific medical conditions or in specific settings such as workplaces.
The K10 has been used to measure the prevalence of psychological distress in different populations, such as:
- general population
- primary care patients
- individuals with chronic medical conditions
- individuals with specific mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety
- individuals in specific settings, such as workplaces
- individuals in specific cultures and ethnic groups
- individuals in specific age groups
- individuals with different educational backgrounds
- individuals with different socio-economic status
It’s important to note that the K10 has been validated for use in different cultures and languages, and it’s been found to be appropriate for use in diverse populations. However, it’s important to check the validity of the translation to the specific population before use.
Scoring the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10) is relatively simple. Each item is scored on a 5-point Likert scale, with higher scores indicating a higher level of distress. The scores for each item are then summed to give a total score, which ranges from 10 to 50. The scores are grouped into three categories: minimal psychological distress (10-15), moderate psychological distress (16-21), and severe psychological distress (22-50).
Administration of the K10 can be done in different ways, such as self-administered questionnaires, face-to-face interviews, or telephone interviews. It is important to ensure that the administration method is appropriate for the population being assessed, and that the person administering the questionnaire is properly trained.
Interpreting the results of the K10 requires an understanding of the cut-off scores. A cut-off score of 22 or higher is often used to indicate a need for further assessment or treatment. However, it is important to note that the K10 is a screening tool, and a positive result should be followed up with a more comprehensive assessment.
It’s also important to keep in mind that the K10 measures symptoms of anxiety and depression, and a high score may indicate the presence of other mental health problems. Therefore, it is important to take into account the individuals’ demographics, medical and psychosocial history, as well as other symptoms or disorders they might have while interpreting the results.
It’s also important to note that the K10 is not a diagnostic tool, and a low score does not rule out the presence of a mental disorder. It’s only a screening tool and more comprehensive assessment should be done for diagnosis.
Reliability and Validity
Reliability refers to the consistency of a measure, and is an important aspect of any assessment tool. The Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10) has been found to have good reliability, with high internal consistency and test-retest reliability. This means that the scores on the K10 are consistent over time, and that the items on the questionnaire are measuring the same construct.
Validity refers to the extent to which a measure is actually measuring what it is intended to measure. The K10 has been found to have good validity as well. It has been validated against other measures of anxiety and depression, and has been found to have good criterion-related validity. This means that it correlates well with other measures of anxiety and depression, and that it is able to distinguish between individuals with and without these conditions.
Additionally, the K10 has been found to have good construct validity, meaning that it measures the construct of psychological distress as intended. Studies have found that the K10 is sensitive to changes in distress level, and is able to detect differences in distress levels between different populations.
Overall, the K10 has been found to be a reliable and valid measure of psychological distress, and it’s widely used in research studies, clinical practice, and population health surveys.
The Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10) is available in several different versions. The original K10 measures symptoms of anxiety and depression, and is often used as a screening tool for mental health problems. Some of the available versions include:
- The K6: This is a shorter version of the K10, consisting of only 6 items. It is designed to be a quick and easy screening tool for psychological distress, and is often used in primary care settings.
- The K5: This is an even shorter version of the K10, consisting of only 5 items. It is designed to be an even quicker and more concise screening tool for psychological distress.
- The K12: This version of the K10 includes two additional items that measure symptoms of suicidality. It is designed to be a more comprehensive screening tool for mental health problems, and is often used in crisis or emergency settings.
- The K20: This version of the K10 includes an additional ten items that measure symptoms of anxiety and depression. It is designed to be a more detailed assessment of psychological distress, and is often used in research studies and clinical settings.
It’s important to keep in mind that while these versions share the same name, they might have different scoring methods, interpretation, and validation. Therefore, it’s important to use the appropriate version of the K10 depending on the context and population being assessed.
Kessler, R. C., Andrews, G., Colpe, L. J., Hiripi, E., Mroczek, D. K., Normand, S.-L. T., … Zaslavsky, A. M. (2002). Short screening scales to monitor population prevalences and trends in non-specific psychological distress. Psychological Medicine, 32(6), 959–976. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0033291702006074
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