n South African Psychiatry Review - A Namibian version of the 28 item General Health Questionnaire : research article

Volume 6, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1811-7805



<I>Background</I>: Namibia faces a daunting array of mental health problems. However, there is no Namibian screening instrument for psychological distress. <br><I>Aim</I>: To develop a Namibian version of the 28 item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28). <br><I>Methods</I>: A consecutive sample of 159 Oshiwambo speaking patients attending rural health clinics in the north of Namibia were enrolled in the study. Basic demographic data were collected and subjects asked to complete the GHQ-28 that had been translated into Oshiwambo. Thereafter all subjects were interviewed with the Clinical Interview Schedule (CIS). Using the CIS data as a marker for psychiatric caseness, the sensitivity, specificity, and receiver operating characteristics (ROC) of the Oshiwambo GHQ-28 were assessed. <br><I>Results</I>: Based on a 0-0-1-1 scoring system, the Oshiwambo GHQ-28 was found to have a sensitivity of 82.1% and a specificity of 79.4%. The ROC analysis revealed good discriminating power with an area under the curve of 0.86 <br><I>Conclusions</I>:The Oshiwambo version of the 28 item GHQ is a valid screening instrument for psychological distress in clinic attendees.

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