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VALIDATION OF THE KESSLER'S PSYCHOLOGICAL DISTRESS SCALE (K10 & K6) IN A MALAYSIAN POPULATION

Xun Ting Tiong, Nur Sara Shahira Abdullah, Mohamad Adam Bujang, Fatin Ellisya binti Sapri, Alan Yean Yip Fong, Selvasingam Ratnasingam, Chong Kok Joon, Hwee Lin Wee, Kavita Venkataraman, E Shyong Tai

Abstract


Objective: A quick assessment tool for screening individuals with depression or anxiety is pertinent in mental-health set up. This study aims to validate the K10 and the K6 to screen patients with non-specific psychological distress in a Malaysian population. Methods: Translation of the questionnaire was done from English to Malay. Face validity was conducted on patients, and a pilot study was performed to assess the reliability of the K10 questionnaire. Fieldwork was conducted to determine the reliability and validity of the K10 questionnaire based on convenience sampling of healthy individuals and patients diagnosed with psychiatric illness. Malay version for K10 was administered to healthy participants (group without psychological distress) and patients on psychiatric clinic follow up (psychological distress). Data collection was done between August 2016 and September 2016.  Result: A total of 94 subjects were recruited in the study, of which 32 formed the case group. The Cronbach’s alpha coefficients for K10 were 0.837(control) and 0.885 (case), as for K6 were 0.716 (control) and 0.859 (case). The total score of the K10 and the K6 clearly differentiated between the control and case groups (p<0.001). The area under the curve for K10 and K6 were 0.84 with 95% CI (0.81, 0.96) and 0.86 with 95% CI (0.77, 0.94) respectively. For K10, at the optimal cut-off score of 17, the sensitivity and specificity were 84.4% and 75.3% respectively while for K6, at the optimal cut-off score of 11, the sensitivity and specificity were 78.1% and 75.8%, respectively.  Conclusion: The Malay version of the K10 and the K6 are reliable and valid to be used for screening patients with non-specific psychological distress in a Malaysian population. Kessler psychological distress scale has minimal items and yet this Kessler psychological distress scales have minimal items and yet are an effective screening tool.


Keywords


Kessler’s Physiology Distress Scale, K10, K6, Malay Version

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