Psychological Toolkit

Screeners

Department of Health recommends psychological measures provided below to assist health professionals in the screening for potential mental health conditions. There are quick to administer but results are only indicative of the focus area for attention and should be discussed with a psychologist.

For your convenience, Neurocog has made available online questionnaires that are automatically scored. Results can be printed. We also provide paper versions (PDF) for offline use.

Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10)

K10 is a simple measure of psychological distress, which can be used to identify those in need of further assessment for anxiety and depression. The K10 measurement of clients’ psychological distress levels can also be used as an outcome measure and assist treatment planning and monitoring. The ten questions measure is designed to quantify the frequency and severity of anxiety- and depression-related symptoms experienced in the four weeks prior to screening.

Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale - 42 (DASS-42)

The DASS-42 is a 42 item self-report scale designed to measure the emotional states of depression, anxiety and stress. The principal value of the DASS in a clinical setting is to clarify the locus of emotional disturbance, as part of the broader task of clinical assessment. The essential function of the DASS is to assess the severity of the core symptoms of Depression, Anxiety and Stress. Accordingly, the DASS allows not only a way to measure the severity of a patient’s symptoms but a means by which a patient’s response to treatment can also be measured.
This is a screening instrument and practitioners should make a clinical judgment as to whether an individual needs further assessment for anxiety and depression. High scores on the DASS would certainly alert the clinician to a high level of distress in the patient and this would need to be explored further within the interview process. Similarly, low scores on the DASS should not be a substitute for a comprehensive clinical interview.

Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale – 21 (DASS-21)

Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale – 21 (DASS-21): The DASS-21 is the short form of the DASS-42, a self-report scale designed to measure the emotional states of depression, anxiety and stress. The principal value of the DASS in a clinical setting is to clarify the locus of emotional disturbance, as part of the broader task of clinical assessment. The essential function of the DASS is to assess the severity of the core symptoms of Depression, Anxiety and Stress. Accordingly, the DASS allows not only a way to measure the severity of a patient’s symptoms but a means by which a patient’s response to treatment can also be measured.
This is a screening instrument and practitioners should make a clinical judgment as to whether an individual needs further assessment for anxiety and depression. High scores on the DASS would certainly alert the clinician to a high level of distress in the patient and this would need to be explored further within the interview process. Similarly, low scores on the DASS should not be a substitute for a comprehensive clinical interview.

The Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9)

The Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ) – is a multipurpose instrument for screening, diagnosing, monitoring and measuring the severity of depression. The PHQ-9 is based directly on the diagnostic criteria for major depressive disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Fourth Edition (DSM-IV). The screener is brief and useful in clinical practice, it can also be administered repeatedly, which can reflect improvement or worsening of depression in response to treatment.
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