Psychometric properties of an interviewer-administered version of the Kessler Psychological Distress scale (K10) among Dutch, Moroccan and Turkish respondents

Int J Methods Psychiatr Res. 2009 Sep;18(3):159-68. doi: 10.1002/mpr.288.


The Kessler Psychological Distress scale (K10) is an instrument that is widely used to screen for mental disorders, but information is lacking on its psychometric qualities in non-Western samples. This study used a population-based sample (N = 725) to assess the reliability and validity of the K10 across ethnic groups in an urban area. The results were generally supportive of the K10 as a reliable and valid instrument to screen for anxiety and depression in all three groups. Cronbach's alpha was high (0.93) and the results indicated the existence of a solid single factor structure. Item bias in relation to ethnic background was minor. In each group, there was good criterion validity with respect to one-month DSM-IV diagnosis for depressive and/or anxiety disorder. The results nevertheless highlight the importance of cross-cultural validation, as we found different cut-off values for ethnic subgroups to obtain optimal sensitivity and specificity for detecting depressive and/or anxiety disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison*
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology*
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Morocco
  • Netherlands
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales*
  • Psychometrics / methods*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Turkey
  • Young Adult