Psicothema was founded in Asturias (northern Spain) in 1989, and is published jointly by the Psychology Faculty of the University of Oviedo and the Psychological Association of the Principality of Asturias (Colegio Oficial de Psicólogos del Principado de Asturias).
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Psicothema, 2008. Vol. Vol. 20 (nº 4). 839-843

The 12-Item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12): Reliability, external validity and factor structure in the Spanish population

María del Pilar Sánchez-López and Virginia Dresch

Universidad Complutense de Madrid

The purpose of this study was to analyze the internal consistency and the external and structure validity of the 12-Item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ-12) in the Spanish general population. A stratified sample of 1001 subjects, ages between 25 and 65 years, taken from the general Spanish population was employed. The GHQ-12 and the Inventory of Situations and Responses of Anxiety-ISRA were administered. A Cronbach’s alpha of .76 (Standardized Alpha: .78) and a 3-factor structure (with oblique rotation and maximum likelihood procedure) were obtained. External validity of Factor I (Successful Coping) with the ISRA is very robust (.82; Factor II, .70; Factor III, .75). The GHQ-12 shows adequate reliability and validity in the Spanish population. Therefore, the GHQ-12 can be used with efficacy to assess people’s overall psychological well-being and to detect non-psychotic psychiatric problems. Additionally, our results confirm that the GHQ-12 can best be thought of as a multidimensional scale that assesses several distinct aspects of distress, rather than just a unitary screening measure.

El Cuestionario de Salud General de 12 Ítems (GHQ-12): fiabilidad, validez externa y estructura factorial en población española. El objetivo de este estudio fue analizar la consistencia interna y la validez externa y estructural del Cuestionario de Salud General de 12 Ítems (GHQ-12) en la población general española. La muestra está compuesta por 1.001 sujetos, de 25 a 65 años de edad, de la población española. El GHQ-12 y el Inventario de Situaciones y Respuestas de Ansiedad fueron administrados. Se encontró un alfa de Cronbach de .76 (alpha estandarizado: 0.78) y una estructura de 3 factores (con rotación oblicua y el procedimiento de máxima verosimilitud). La validez externa del Factor I (Afrontamiento exitoso) con el ISRA fue muy alta (0.82; Factor II, .70; Factor III, .75). El GHQ-12 demostró una fiabilidad y validez adecuada en la población española. Por tanto, el GHQ-12 puede ser utilizado con eficacia para evaluar el bienestar psicológico y detectar problemas psiquiátricos no psicóticos. Además de ello, nuestros resultados confirman que el GHQ-12 se porta mejor como una escala multidimensional que evalúa varios aspectos del malestar psicológico, que utilizado como una medida de screening único.


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