Validation of the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) adapted to a work-related context

DOI: 10.4236/ojpm.2011.12007   PDF   HTML     12,310 Downloads   27,252 Views   Citations


Introduction: The aim of this study is to test the factorial structure and the internal consistency of the 12-items General Health Questionnaire adapted to work-related psychological distress (GHQW). Methods: A validated French version of the GHQ-12 was used and transformed to remind of the occupational context. A sample of 1014 workers completed the GHQW. Internal consis- tency was assessed by Cronbach’s α coefficient. The factorial structure was extracted with an exploratory factorial analysis (EFA). Results: The EFA run on the data yield to a one- factor structure explaining 60.5% of the total variance of the scale. The Cronbach’s alpha showed a very good internal consistency of the scale (α = 0.94). Conclusion: The findings support that the GHQW is a reliable and valid instrument for measuring work-related psychological distress in workers. This work-related version could find some applications in epide-miological research at work, in the study of psychosocial risk factors and in the occupational health physi- cian’s daily activity.

Share and Cite:

Lesage, F. , Martens-Resende, S. , Deschamps, F. and Berjot, S. (2011) Validation of the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) adapted to a work-related context. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, 1, 44-48. doi: 10.4236/ojpm.2011.12007.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Goldberg DP, Williams P (1988). A User’s Guide to the General Health Questionnaire. Windsor: nferNelson
[2] Richardson A, Plant H, Moore S, Medina J, Cornwall A, Ream E.( 2007) Developing supportive care for family members of people with lung cancer: a feasibility study. Supportive Care in Cancer 15,1259-69.
[3] Henkel V, Mergl R, Kohnen R, Maier W, M?ller HJ, Hegerl U.( 2003) Identifying depression in primary care: a comparison of different methods in a prospective cohort study. BMJ 326,200-201.
[4] Jones M, Rona RJ, Hooper R, Wesseley S.( 2006) The burden of psychological symptoms in UK Armed Forces. Occupational Medicine. 56,322-328.
[5] Hardy GE, Shapiro DA, Haynes CE, Rick JE. (1999) Validation of the General Health Questionnaire-12: Using a sample of employees from England’s health care services. Psychological Assessment 11,159-165.
[6] Navarro P, Ascaso C, Garcia-Esteve L, Aguado J, Torres A, Martin-Santos R. (2007) Postnatal psychiatric morbidity: A validation study of the GHQ-12 and the EPDS as screening tools. General Hospital Psychiatry 29,1-7.
[7] Quek KF, Low WY, Razack AH, Loh CS. (2001) Reliability and validity of the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) among urological patients: A Malaysian study. Psychiatry Clin Neurosci 55,509–513.
[8] Tait RJ, French DJ, Hulse GK. (2003) Validity and psychometric properties of the General Health Questionnaire-12 in young Australian adolescents. Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 37,374-381.
[9] Hahn D, Reuter K, Harter M. (2006) Screening for affective and anxiety disorders in medical patients: Comparison of HADs, GHQ-12 and brief-PHQ. GMS Psycho Social Medicine. 3,1-11.
[10] Graetz B. (1991) Multidimensional properties of the General Health Questionnaire. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 26,132-138
[11] Salama-Younes M, Montazeri A, Ismail A, Roncin C. (2009) Factor structure and internal consistency of the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) and the Subjective Vitality Scale (VS), and the relationship between them: a study from France. Health and Quality of life Outcomes 7,22
[12] Shevlin M, Adamson G. (2005) Alternative Factor Models and Factorial Invariance of the GHQ-12: A Large Sample Analysis Using Confirmatory Factor Analysis. Psychological Assessment. 17,231-236.
[13] Claes R, Fraccaroli F. (2002) The General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12): Factorial invariance in different language versions. Bollettino di Psicologia Applicata 237,25-35.
[14] Penninkilampi-Kerola V, Miettunen J, Ebeling H. (2006) A comparative assessment of the factor structures and psychometric properties of the GHQ-12 and the GHQ-20 based on data from a Finnish population-based sample. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology 47,431-440.
[15] Ip WY, Martin CR. (2006) Factor structure of the Chinese version of the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) in pregnancy. Journal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology 24,87–98.
[16] Ip WY, Martin CR. (2006) Psychometric properties of the 12-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) in Chinese women during pregnancy and in the postnatal period. Psychology, Health & Medicine 11,60-69.
[17] Vanheule S, Bogaerts S. (2005) Short Communication: The factorial structure of the GHQ-12. Stress and Health: Journal of the International Society for the Investigation of Stress 2005;21:217-222.
[18] Lopez-Castedo A, Fernandez L. Psychometric Properties of the Spanish Version of the 12-Item General Health Questionnaire in Adolescents. Percept Mot Skills 100,676–680.
[19] Kalliath TJ, O'Driscoll MP, Brough P. (2004) A confirmatory factor analysis of the General Health Questionnaire-12. Stress and Health: Journal of the International Society for the Investigation of Stress 20,11-20.
[20] Peterson RA. A (2000) Meta-analysis of variance accounted for and factor loadings in exploratory factor analysis. Marketing Letters 11,261-75
[21] Nunnally J, Bernstein IH. (1994) Psychometric theory. New York: McGraw-Hill
[22] Werneke U, Goldberg DP, Yalcin I, Ustun BT. (2000) The stability of the factor structure of the General Health Questionnaire. Psychological Medicine 30,823–829.
[23] Ye S. (2009) Factor structure of the General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12): the role of wording effect. Personality and individual differences 46,197-201
[24] Pariente P.Challita H, Mesba M, Guelfi JD. (1992) The GHQ-28 questionnaire in French: a validationsurvey in a panel of 158 general psychiatric patients. Eur Psychiat 7,15-20
[25] Darvez-Bornoz JM, Pierre F. (1998) Screening for psychologically traumatized rape victims. Eur J Obstet Gyn R B. 77,71-75
[26] De Coster J. Overview of factor analysis. accessed January 11,2011

comments powered by Disqus

Copyright © 2020 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.