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Title

Validity Study of the K6 Scale as a Measure of Moderate Mental Distress Based on Mental Health Treatment Need and Utilization (International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research)

Publication Topics

California Health Interview Survey; 2007 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS 2007); Adult; Chronic Condition Prevalence; Screening for Early Disease Detection; Mental and Emotional Health; Health Behaviors

Publication Type

CHIS Journal Article

Publication Date

2012-02-20T08:00:00Z

Author 1

<a onclick="OpenPopUpPage('http://healthpolicy.ucla.edu/_layouts/listform.aspx?PageType=4&ListId={7AAD61FA-4BCB-48C0-B0B7-87AFDC3673EF}&ID=779&RootFolder=*', RefreshPage); return false;" href="http://healthpolicy.ucla.edu/_layouts/listform.aspx?PageType=4&ListId={7AAD61FA-4BCB-48C0-B0B7-87AFDC3673EF}&ID=779&RootFolder=*">Judith J. Prochaska</a>

Author 2

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Author 3

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Author 4

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Author 5

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Author 6

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Author 7

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Author 8

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Author 9

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Author 10

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Author 11

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Author 12

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Author 13

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Author 14

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Abstract

The widely-used Kessler K6 non-specific distress scale screens for severe mental illness defined as a K6 score ≥ 13, estimated to afflict about 6% of US adults. The K6, as currently used, fails to capture individuals struggling with more moderate mental distress that nonetheless warrants mental health intervention. The current study determined a cutoff criterion on the K6 scale indicative of moderate mental distress based on mental health treatment need and assessed the validity of this criterion by comparing participants with identified moderate and severe mental distress on relevant clinical, impairment, and risk behavior measures. Data were analyzed from 50,880 adult participants in the 2007 California Health Interview Survey. Receiver operating characteristic curve analysis identified K6 ≥ 5 as the optimal lower threshold cut-point indicative of moderate mental distress. Based on the K6, 8.6% of California adults had serious mental distress and another 27.9% had moderate mental distress. Correlates of moderate and serious mental distress were similar. Respondents with moderate mental distress had rates of mental health care utilization, impairment, substance use and other risks lower than respondents with serious mental distress and greater than respondents with none/low mental distress. The findings support expanded use and analysis of the K6 scale in quantifying and examining correlates of mental distress at a moderate, yet still clinically relevant, level.​

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California Health Interview Survey

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Version: 4.0
Created at 7/26/2012 12:18 PM by i:0#.f|uclachissqlmembershipprovider|celeste
Last modified at 3/6/2013 2:10 PM by i:0#.f|uclachissqlmembershipprovider|jonathan