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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 23  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 101-106

Psychometric properties of Kessler's Psychological Distress Scale (K10) in cancer patients

1 Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Government Medical College, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India
2 Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Sevagram, Maharashtra, India
3 Associate Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Government Medical College, Gondia, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Harshal Shriram Sathe
Department of Psychiatry, Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences, Sevagram, Wardha - 442 102, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/amh.amh_104_21

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Context: Kessler's Psychological Distress Scale (K10) is a self-rated, easy-to-apply scale to measure psychological distress. The suitability of its use in treatment-seeking cancer patients in the clinical setup has not been studied. Aims: The aim was to assess the psychometric properties and associations of K10 with sociodemographic and clinical variables and depression levels in the cancer patients visiting the hospital. Settings and Design: The research was a cross-sectional, observational, descriptive study conducted in the oncology outpatient department of a public hospital. Materials and Methods: The data were collected from 155 cancer patients using semi-structured pro forma for sociodemographic and illness-related information. K10 and Patient Health Questionnaire-9 were used to quantify psychological distress and depression. Statistical Analysis Used: The factor structure of Kessler's 10-item scale was assessed by confirmatory factor analysis, and Cronbach's alpha was calculated as a measure of internal consistency. Given the nonnormal distribution of quantitative data, nonparametric tests were used to analyze the association of K10 scores with sociodemographic and clinical variables and depression scores. Results: The K10 showed good internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha = 0.914) in the cancer patients. In confirmatory factor analysis using structural equation modeling, the single-factor and two-factor models could not adequately fit across goodness-of-fit indices. There was a significant association between the levels of psychological distress and depression in cancer patients. Conclusion: K10, in its current form, is a reliable instrument to measure psychological distress. However, a need-based modification of the existing scale is required in treatment-seeking cancer patients.

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