Has psychological distress among UK South Asians been under‐estimated? A comparison of three measures in the west of Scotland population

Williams, R., Eley, S., Hunt, K. and Bhatt, S. (1997) Has psychological distress among UK South Asians been under‐estimated? A comparison of three measures in the west of Scotland population. Ethnicity and Health, 2(1-2), pp. 21-29. (doi:10.1080/13557858.1997.9961812)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13557858.1997.9961812

Abstract

Objectives. Previous work has shown low levels of psychological distress among UK South Asians, but some argue that the distress is under‐reported. The present paper assesses distress on one clinically validated measure (the 12‐item General Health Questionnaire), a psychosomatic measure and a self‐report measure. Methods. Interviews of 159 South Asians in Glasgow aged 30–40 years, mean age 35 years and 319 from the general population, all aged 35 years. Results. The three distress measures were moderately correlated and at the thresholds chosen there was no hierarchy of severity between them. Distress on the GHQ12 was at similar levels for all the social groups assessed, but distress on the psychosomatic measure and self‐assessment was higher for women, Muslims and limited English speakers. Conclusions. Clinical measures may have under‐estimated distress in several South Asian groups. The results may be due to a preference for a particular language of emotion in the affected groups or to a higher frequency of stressful situations which provoke distinctive reactions.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Hunt, Professor Kathryn
Authors: Williams, R., Eley, S., Hunt, K., and Bhatt, S.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > MRC/CSO Unit
Journal Name:Ethnicity and Health
ISSN:1355-7858
ISSN (Online):1465-3419

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