Psychological distress

Kessler Psychological Distress Scale – 6 items (K6)

The K6 is a validated instrument used to evaluate psychological distress in several large-scale population-based surveys, especially in the Canadian Community Health Survey (CCHS) and the Québec Population Health Survey (QPHS) (Camirand, Traoré and Baulne, 2016; Kessler et al., 2002, 2010; Mitchell and Beals, 2011) (Table 2, Table 4). The committee of experts therefore recommends this instrument to evaluate psychological distress (Information sheet 11, Questionnaire 8). A 10-item version exists (K10) but the six-item version appears to be just as effective (Furukawa et al., 2003). Since this instrument is used in the Canadian and Québec surveys, it is advantageous to use it for comparison purposes (Camirand, Traoré and Baulne, 2016; Pica et al., 2013). In the 2014-2015 QPHS, a question was added to determine whether psychological distress is perceived as being wholly, partially or not at all work-related. In the CCHS, a question was added to determine whether feelings arise more often, less often or essentially with the same frequency as usual.