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Kessler-10 (K10) distress scale
Distress scale – Kessler 10
- The Kessler-10 scale is one of the tools used to screen for psychological distress, such as anxiety or depression.
- This is not intended to provide a diagnosis – only trained health professionals should do this.
The Kessler-10 scale was developed for use in the US National Health Interview Survey. It is a short measure of non-specific psychological distress based on questions about the level of nervousness, agitation, psychological fatigue and depression.
Professor Ronald C Kessler of the Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School is thanked for the use of research on the Kessler-10 funded by US Public Health Service Grants RO1 MH46376, R01 MH52861, RO1 MH49098 and K05 MH00507, and by the John D and Catherine T MacArthur Foundation Network on Successful Midlife Development (Gilbert Brim, Director).
How to interpret your Kessler-10 score
- Each item is scored from 1 = ‘none of the time’ to 5 = ‘all of the time’. Scores of the 10 items are then summed, yielding a minimum score of 10 and a maximum score of 50.
- Low scores indicate low levels of psychological distress and high scores indicate high levels of psychological distress.
- Please note that while great care has been taken with the development of this self-test, it is not intended to be a substitute for professional clinical advice. The result is indicative only. If you have scored above the threshold on this scale, see your doctor or a mental health practitioner, such as a counsellor, psychotherapist or psychologist.(external link)
The Kessler-10 has been translated into the following languages and is available on the Transcultural Mental Health Centre website. It is strongly recommended that these questions are completed with a health professional.
- Kessler-10 - Arabic
- Kessler-10 - Bengali
- Kessler-10 - Burmese
- Kessler-10 - Croatian
- Kessler-10 - Dari
- Kessler-10 - Farsi
- Kessler-10 - French
- Kessler-10 - Greek
- Kessler-10 - Hindi
- Kessler-10 - Khmer
- Kessler-10 - Korean
- Kessler-10 - Spanish
- Kessler-10 - Thai
- Kessler-10 - Traditional Chinese
For other languages, visit Transcultural Mental Health Centre(external link) website.
Credits: Healthify editorial team. Healthify is brought to you by Health Navigator Charitable Trust.