JOURNAL ARTICLE

Using the 12-item General Health Questionnaire to screen psychological distress from survivorship to end-of-life care: dimensionality and item quality

Wei Gao, Daniel Stark, Michael I Bennett, Richard J Siegert, Scott Murray, Irene J Higginson
Psycho-oncology 2012, 21 (9): 954-61
21557386

OBJECTIVES: This study aimed (i) to determine the factor structure of the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) across the cancer trajectory represented by samples from three cancer care settings and (ii) to appraise the item misfit and differential item functioning (DIF) of the GHQ-12.

DATA AND METHODS: Data were from cancer outpatient (n = 200), general community (n = 364) and palliative care (n = 150) settings. The factor structure was tested using exploratory factor analysis followed by confirmatory factor analysis. The factors were assessed for correlation using Spearman's ρ. The analyses were run separately for standard GHQ, Likert, modified Likert and chronic GHQ scoring and for the individual cancer settings. The best scoring method within the cancer setting was determined by Akaike's information criterion (AIC). Item misfit (mean square, MNSQ; standardised z-score, ZSTD) and DIF were assessed using the Rasch model.

RESULTS: The best scoring method was the chronic GHQ for the cancer outpatient (AIC = -45.8), modified Likert for the general community (AIC = 9.6) and standard GHQ for the palliative care (AIC = -43.0). The GHQ-12 displayed a correlated two-factor structure ('social dysfunction' and 'distress'); Spearman ρ values were 0.69, 0.82 and 0.88 in the cancer outpatient, the general community and the palliative care, respectively. One item in the palliative care indicated misfit (MNSQ = 1.62, ZSTD = 3.0). Five items in the cancer outpatient showed DIF by gender and age. Two items in the palliative care showed DIF by gender.

CONCLUSIONS: The GHQ-12 was more problematic (less clear factor structure and evidence of item bias) for newly diagnosed patients, less problematic for patients approaching end-of-life and satisfactory for patients between those times.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
21557386
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"