Disclosure of interests: None.
Women who miscarry: The effectiveness and clinical utility of the Kessler 10 questionnaire in screening for ongoing psychological distress
Article first published online: 11 FEB 2010
© 2010 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2010 The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Volume 50, Issue 1, pages 70–76, February 2010
How to Cite
STALLMAN, H. M., McDERMOTT, B. M., BECKMANN, M. M., KAY WILSON, M. and ADAM, K. (2010), Women who miscarry: The effectiveness and clinical utility of the Kessler 10 questionnaire in screening for ongoing psychological distress. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 50: 70–76. doi: 10.1111/j.1479-828X.2009.01110.x
- Issue published online: 11 FEB 2010
- Article first published online: 11 FEB 2010
- Received 4 June 2009; accepted 20 October 2009.
- early pregnancy loss;
- mental health;
- psychological distress;
Background: Early pregnancy loss has been linked to enduring psychological morbidity.
Aims: This study aimed to investigate the utility of the Kessler 10 (K10) questionnaire as a brief screening instrument to identify women at risk for the development of psychiatric diagnoses three months post-miscarriage.
Method: Participants were 117 consecutive women presenting at a public hospital emergency department and receiving a diagnosis of miscarriage.
Main outcome measures: K10 screen for psychological distress and the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM Disorders to determine psychiatric diagnoses.
Results: A majority of women (81.2%) experienced elevated levels of distress initially, 24.8% in the very high range. They were not at increased risk of psychiatric diagnoses at three months compared with the general population; however, they were significantly more likely to report subsyndromal symptoms at this time compared with the general population. The baseline K10 score was the only significant predictor of distress at follow-up (r = 0.45, P < 0.001). The receiver operating characteristic curve shows that a cut-off of 14 on the K10 has suitable sensitivity (97%) and specificity (82%) for predicting ongoing psychological distress in women who miscarry.
Conclusions: The K10 is effective in identifying women at risk for ensuring psychological symptoms following miscarriage.