Validating mental health assessment in Kenya using an innovative gold standard.

Published

Journal Article

With the growing burden of mental health disorders worldwide, alongside efforts to expand availability of evidence-based interventions, strategies are needed to ensure accurate identification of individuals suffering from mental disorders. Efforts to locally validate mental health assessments are of particular value, yet gold-standard clinical validation is costly, time-intensive, and reliant on available professionals. This study aimed to validate assessment items for mental distress in Kenya, using an innovative gold standard and a combination of culturally adapted and locally developed items. The mixed-method study drew on surveys and semi-structured interviews, conducted by lay interviewers, with 48 caregivers. Interviews were used to designate mental health "cases" or "non-cases" based on emotional health problems, identified through a collaborative clinical rating process with local input. Individual mental health survey items were evaluated for their ability to discriminate between cases and non-cases. Discriminant survey items included 23 items adapted from existing mental health assessment tools, as well as 6 new items developed for the specific cultural context. When items were combined into a scale, results showed good psychometric properties. The use of clinically rated semi-structured interviews provides a promising alternative gold standard that can help address the challenges of conducting diagnostic clinical validation in low-resource settings.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Watson, LK; Kaiser, BN; Giusto, AM; Ayuku, D; Puffer, ES

Published Date

  • June 17, 2019

Published In

PubMed ID

  • 31209898

Pubmed Central ID

  • 31209898

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1464-066X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0020-7594

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/ijop.12604

Language

  • eng