The Use of Screening Questionnaires by Family Doctors
The General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) was designed to enable family doctors in London to screen patients in order to identify those with minor psychiatric illnesses. Such was my concern to capture the most telling phraseology for Londoners, that important items — such as those concerned with headache, tension and depressed mood — were tried in several different versions. In each case, the wording that produced the best discrimination between calibration groups was selected. This produced an instrument which worked well for Londoners,1 and the author was pleasantly surprised to find that it worked fairly well in an American city after some of the items had been reworded to suit the local vernacular.2 It had been designed to work well in a particular cultural setting yet it worked only slightly less well in a very different one.
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