Kessler Psychological Distress Scale 10

Kessler Psychological Distress Scale 10


The Kessler Psychological Distress Scale 10 (K10) is a 10-question screening scale of psychological distress. This is intended to yield a global measure of distress based on questions about anxiety and depressive symptoms that a person has experienced in the most recent 4 week period. The scale was designed to be sensitive around the threshold for the clinically significant range of the distribution of nonspecific distress in an effort to maximize the ability to discriminate cases of serious mental illness (SMI) from non-cases.


Psychological Distress


Self administered

Assessment type


Assessment modes



11 years and above

Estimated time

2 to 3 minutes


Kessler, R.C., Barker, P.R., Colpe, L.J., Epstein, J.F., Gfroerer, J.C., Hiripi, E., Howes, M.J, Normand, S-L.T., Manderscheid, R.W., Walters, E.E., Zaslavsky, A.M. (2003). Screening for serious mental illness in the general population Archives of General Psychiatry. 60(2), 184-189.