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dc.rights.licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
dc.contributor.authorHorn, Rebecca
dc.contributor.authorJailobaeva, Kanykey
dc.contributor.authorArakelyan, Stella
dc.contributor.authorAger, Alastair
dc.identifierpublisher-id: s40359-021-00610-w
dc.identifiermanuscript: 610
dc.identifierdoi: 10.1186/s40359-021-00610-w
dc.identifier.citationHorn, R., Jailobaeva, K., Arakelyan, S. & Ager, A. (2021) The development of a contextually appropriate measure of psychological distress in Sierra Leone. BMC Psychology, 9:108.
dc.descriptionFrom Springer Nature via Jisc Publications Router
dc.descriptionHistory: received 2021-04-12, accepted 2021-07-09, registration 2021-07-14, pub-electronic 2021-07-21, online 2021-07-21, collection 2021-12
dc.descriptionPublication status: Published
dc.descriptionStella Arakelyan - ORCID: 0000-0003-0326-707X
dc.descriptionAlastair Ager - ORCID: 0000-0002-9474-3563
dc.description.abstractAbstract: Background: Studies of psychological distress in Sierra Leone have typically used measures which were developed for use in other contexts, and which often have not been adapted or validated for use in Sierra Leone. This has resulted in a lack of reliable information about the patterns of psychological distress within the population, which is a barrier to the development of effective and appropriate mental health services. The aim of the study was to develop a locally-appropriate measure of psychological distress for Sierra Leone. Methods: The new measure consists of two instruments: the Sierra Leone Psychological Distress Scale (SLPDS) and a gendered measure of ability to carry out daily tasks—a Function scale—as an indication of the severity of distress. A three-phase mixed methods exploratory sequential study was conducted. Phase 1 was item generation and testing, leading to the development of a set of potential items for both instruments. Phase 2 was a small pilot study (N = 202) leading to the selection of the final set of items for both measures. Phase 3 was a validation phase where the SLPDS and the Function scale were administered with a larger sample of 904 respondents. Item analysis was used to assess the internal consistency of the scales, and Exploratory Factor Analysis to explore the properties of the SLPDS. Results: Exploratory factor analysis using the principal axis factoring with an oblique rotation identified a three-factor structure for the 18-item SLPDS. Internal consistency for the SLPDS (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.89) and three subscales was good (Cronbach’s alpha > 0.73). The internal reliability of the male and female versions of the Function scale was also found to be acceptable (Cronbach’s alpha = 0.90 for the female scale and 0.79 for the male scale). Conclusions: Together the SLPD and Function scales provide a locally-validated tool which will enable government bodies and local and international non-governmental organisations in Sierra Leone to assess mental health and psychosocial needs. This will support both effective service provision and the evaluation of initiatives designed to improve mental health and psychosocial wellbeing.
dc.relation.ispartofBMC Psychology
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dc.sourceeissn: 2050-7283
dc.subjectScale Development
dc.subjectSierra Leone
dc.subjectPsychological Distress
dc.subjectMental Health
dc.titleThe development of a contextually appropriate measure of psychological distress in Sierra Leone
qmu.authorHorn, Rebecca
qmu.authorJailobaeva, Kanykey
qmu.authorArakelyan, Stella
qmu.authorAger, Alastair
qmu.centreInstitute for Global Health and Development

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