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Health and Quality of Life Outcomes

, 4:13

First Online: 01 March 2006Received: 12 January 2006Accepted: 01 March 2006


BackgroundLengthy questionnaires reduce data quality and impose a burden on respondents. Previous researchers proposed that a single item -My future seems dark to me- and a 4-item component of the Beck-s Hopelessness Scale BHS can summarise most of the information the BHS provides. There is no clear indication of what BHS cutoff values are useful in identifying people with suicide tendency.

MethodsIn a population-based study of Chinese people aged between 15 and 59 in Hong Kong, the Chinese version of the BHS and the Centre for Epidemiologic Studies – Depression scale were administered by trained interviewers and suicidal ideation and suicidal attempts were self-reported. Receiver operating characteristics curve analysis and regression analysis were used to compare the performance of the BHS and its components in identifying people with suicidality and depression. Smoothed level of suicidal tendency was assessed in relation to scores on the BHS and its component to identify thresholds.

ResultsIt is found that the 4-item component and, to a lesser extent, the single item of the BHS perform in ways similar to the BHS. There are non-linear relationship between suicidality and scores on the BHS and the 4-item component; cutoff values identified accordingly have sensitivity and specificity of about 65%.

ConclusionThe 4-item component is a useful alternative to the BHS. Shortening of psycho-social measurement scales should be considered in order to reduce burden on patients or respondents and to improve response rate.

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1477-7525-4-13 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Paul SF Yip - Yin Bun Cheung

Fuente: https://link.springer.com/

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