NOTE: sub categorization of resources in progress

General Health Questionnaire « Health Assessment « Surveys/Scales « Downloads

Date postedFebruary 6, 2012
Downloaded1260 times
CategoriesHealth Assessment, Mental Health, Surveys/Scales


The General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) is a measure of current mental health and since its development by Goldberg in the 1970s it has been extensively used in different settings and different cultures [1-5]. The questionnaire was originally developed as a 60-item instrument but at present a range of shortened versions of the questionnaire including the GHQ-30, the GHQ-28, the GHQ-20, and the GHQ-12 is available. The scale asks whether the respondent has experienced a particular symptom or behavior recently. Each item is rated on a four-point scale (less than usual, no more than usual, rather more than usual, or much more than usual); and for example when using the GHQ-12 it gives a total score of 36 or 12 based on the selected scoring methods. The most common scoring methods are bi-modal (0-0-1-1) and Likert scoring styles (0-1-2-3). The General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) screens for non-psychotic psychiatric disorders. The User’s Guide provides guidance for researchers intending to set up their own localized validation studies.This self-administered questionnaire focuses on two major areas: 1) the inability to carry out normal functions and 2) the appearance of new and distressing phenomena.

General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) is available in the following versions:

GHQ-60: the fully detailed 60-item questionnaire

GHQ-30: a short form without items relating to physical illness

GHQ-28: a 28 item scaled version – assesses somantic symptoms, anxiety and insomnia, social dysfunction and severe depression

GHQ-12: a quick, reliable and sensitive short form – ideal for research studies

D. Goldberg

Goldberg DP, Blackwell B: Psychiatric illness in general practice. A detailed study using a new method of case identification. Br Med J 1970, 1:439-443.

Golderberg D, Williams P: A user’s guide to the General Health questionnaire. Windsor, UK: NFER-Nelson 1988.

Schmitz N, Kruse J, Tress W: Psychometric properties of the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ)-12) in a German primary care. Acta Psychiatr Scand 1999, 100:462-468.

Jacob KS, Bhugra D, Mann AH: The validation of the 12-item General Health questionnaire in ethnic Indian women living in the United Kingdom. Psychol Med 1997, 27:1215-1217.

Donath S: The validity of the 12-item General Health Questionnaire in Australia: a comparison between three scoring methods. Aust N Z J Psychiatry 2001, 35:231-235.

Cronbach’s alpha is reported in several studies, and is between 0.82 and 0.86 (Sriram et al. 1989; Wine┬«eld et al. 1989; Politi et al. 1994).

Projects Using This Scale:
Masihambisane – Pregnant Women: KZN
Philani (Pregnant Women: Cape Town)