This scale is used to identify psychological distress, as developed by Kessler, R.C., Andrews, G., Colpe, L.J., Hiripi, E., Mroczek, D.K., Normand, S.-L.T., Walters, E.E. & Zaslavsky, A.M. (2002) ‘Short screening scales to monitor population prevalences and trends in non-specific psychological distress’, Psychological Medicine, 32, 959-976:

During the past 4 weeks, about how often did you feel…? [PROMPT ITEMS] [FOR EACH ITEM ASK SCALE] Would you say…? [READ OUT SCALE, start with > All of the time…]

Tired out for no good reason
[IF PREVIOUS NOT NONE] So nervous that nothing could calm you down
Restless or fidgety
[IF PREVIOUS NOT NONE] So restless that you could not sit still
That everything was an effort
So sad that nothing could cheer you up

All of the time (code 5)
Most of the time (code 4)
Some of the time (code 3)
A little of the time (code 2)
None of the time (code 1)
[NO NOT READ OUT] Don’t know / refused (code 0)


For each individual sum the scale codes for all 10 items (minimum 10 and maximum 50). Categorisatiosn of ‘physchological distress’ is as follows:
10-19 = Low (likely to be well)
20-24 = Moderate (mild mental disorder)
25-29 = High (moderate mental disorder)
30-50 = Very high (severe mental disorder)


If you or someone close to you feels psychologically distressed please seek help:

in Survey Tools Tags: mental healthpsychological distressquestions