Development and psychometric properties of the Mental Health Knowledge Schedule

Can J Psychiatry. 2010 Jul;55(7):440-8. doi: 10.1177/070674371005500707.


Objective: Stigma has been conceptualized as comprised of 3 constructs: knowledge (ignorance), attitudes (prejudice), and behaviour (discrimination). We are not aware of a psychometrically tested instrument to assess knowledge about mental health problems among the general public. Our paper presents the results of the development stage and the psychometric properties of the Mental Health Knowledge Schedule (MAKS), an instrument to assess stigma-related mental health knowledge among the general public.

Methods: We describe the development of the MAKS in addition to 3 studies that were carried out to evaluate the psychometric properties of the MAKS. Adults aged 25 to 45 years in socioeconomic groups: B, C1, and C2 completed the instrument via face-to-face interview (n = 92) and online (n = 403).

Results: Internal reliability and test-retest reliability is moderate to substantial. Validity is supported by extensive review by experts (including service users and international experts in stigma research).

Conclusion: The lack of a valid outcome measure to assess knowledge is a shortcoming of evaluations of stigma interventions and programs. The MAKS was found to be a brief and feasible instrument for assessing and tracking stigma-related mental health knowledge. This instrument should be used in conjunction with other attitude- and behaviour-related measures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Literacy / standards
  • Health Literacy / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / psychology
  • Mental Health* / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*
  • United Kingdom