A comparison of methods of scoring the General Health Questionnaire

Compr Psychiatry. Jul-Aug 1988;29(4):402-8. doi: 10.1016/0010-440x(88)90021-1.


The General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) has been criticized for failing to detect individuals with chronic symptoms due to its focus on recent changes in one's usual state. Using data from a community survey in Edmonton, Canada, in which 3,258 subjects completed the 30-item GHQ and the Diagnostic Interview Schedule (DIS), the traditional method of scoring the GHQ was compared to a revised method proposed by Goodchild and Duncan-Jones. A case was defined to be someone with a history in the preceding month of one or more of the following DIS/DSM-III disorders: major depressive episode, phobia, panic disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder. A receiver operating characteristic analysis demonstrated no difference in the two methods of scoring the GHQ.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / psychology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychological Tests*
  • Psychometrics
  • ROC Curve