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4817.0.55.001 - Information Paper: Use of the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale in ABS Health Surveys, Australia, 2007-08  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 04/04/2012   
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Contents >> Background >> Inclusion of the K5 in ABS Surveys

INCLUSION OF THE K5 IN ABS SURVEYS
The K5 is a subset of questions derived from the K10, which incorporates minor wording changes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples surveys (see Table C). The questions in the K5 were refined with a range of experts, including State and Territory health authorities who had used a modified Kessler scale in other surveys. As for the K6, the K5 is an incomplete and altered version of the K10, however Professor Kessler was consulted on the modified scale and advised that the K5 provides a worthwhile short set of psychological distress questions.

The K5 is used in the following ABS surveys:

    - the 2008 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Survey (NATSISS); and
    - the 2004-05 and 2011-13 National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Survey (NATSIHS).
    Differences between the K5 and the K10 include:
      - the use of the word ‘last’ in place of ‘past’ in the question introduction, and
      - the use of ‘without hope’ in place of ‘hopeless’, and ‘jumpy’ in place of ‘fidgety’ in the question text (see Table C below).
    Table C: K5 comparison with relevant K10 questions

    K5 (based on 1994 version)K10 - 1994 version
    In the last 4 weeks:In the past 4 weeks:
    1
    about how often did you feel nervous?
    2
    about how often did you feel nervous?
    2
    about how often did you feel without hope?
    4
    about how often did you feel hopeless?
    3
    about how often did you feel restless or jumpy?
    5
    about how often did you feel restless or fidgety?
    4
    about how often did you feel everything was an effort?
    6
    about how often did you feel that everything was an effort?
    5
    about how often did you feel so sad that nothing could cheer you up?
    7
    about how often did you feel so sad that nothing could cheer you up?

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