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July 1982

Screening for Mental Disorder Among Primary Care Patients: Usefulness of the General Health Questionnaire

Author Affiliations

From the Rutgers University Graduate School of Social Work, New Brunswick, NJ (Dr Cleary), the Division of Biometry and Epidemiology, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md (Mr Goldberg and Dr Kessler), and the Marshfield (Wis) Medical Foundation (Mr Nycz). Dr Cleary is now with the Department of Social Medicine and Health Policy, Harvard Medical School, Boston.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1982;39(7):837-840. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1982.04290070065012

• The General Health Questionnaire (GHQ) and a structured psychiatric interview (lifetime version of the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia) were administered to a sample of primary care patients in the United States. Responses to the GHQ tended to form factors that have substantive interpretations, such as depression, anxiety, sleep problems, and social functioning. However, there seems to be little gain in using subscale scores to help identify persons with different types of psychiatric disorders.

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