The problems which arise in the use of a psychiatric screening instrument in a language and culture other than that in which it was designed and developed are considered. An account is given of the development of a psychiatric screening questionnaire suitable for use in Chinese community samples. The questionnaire was derived from a Chinese translation of the General Health Questionnaire, with the addition of specially designed, culturally-relevant items. Discriminant function analysis was then used to select a subset of 12 items which discriminated well between ‘cases’ and ‘normals’ in the community.
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