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The use of the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-28) to estimate prevalence of psychiatric disorder in early pregnancy

By Brian L. Swallow, S. W. Lindow, E. A. Masson and D. M. Hay


The use of the 28-item version of the General Health Questionnaire as a means of determining prevalence of psychiatric disorders in early pregnancy is described. Two hundred and seventy-three women attending their first antenatal appointment completed the instrument. Positive cases identified by both the GHQ scoring method (cut-off score 5/6) and the Likert method (cut-off score 23/24) were compared. Using the GHQ method, 44.3% of the women scored 5 or above; 50.5% scored 4 or above. Using the Likert method, 39.6% scored 24 or above. The GHQ method identified 21 cases undetected by the Likert (17%) and the Likert method identified eight cases undetected by the GHQ (7.4%). The results indicate higher prevalence rates than found in community samples. Pending further research, it is recommended that the GHQ be used with caution in antenatal setting

Topics: C800 Psychology, B760 Mental Health Nursing
Year: 2003
DOI identifier: 10.1080/1354850031000087591
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