Investigation of a brief measure of psychological distress : factor and confirmatory analyses in psychiatric and collegiate samples.




Johnson, Aimee K.

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With increasing costs and utilization of health care services in primary care, and evidence for gross under-diagnosis of acute psychological distress, a brief screening measure that includes the most salient constructs of psychological distress: depression, anxiety, hopelessness and anger, is critically needed. Such a scale may identify psychological distress without increasing the administration burden of the patient or professional and provide medical clinicians with a practical instrument that could identify patients who may require additional psychological evaluation and facilitate discussion. This paper represents the findings of an investigation into a new measure which was initially constructed in a clinical sample, and cross-validated in a college sample and psychiatric sample. Item analyses, correlations of convergent and divergent validity, and confirmatory analyses suggest that this scale has potential as a reliable and valid clinical tool in psychiatric and collegiate populations to implement as a brief screening measure of psychological distress.