Psychological Medicine

Research Article

Reliability, validity and the structure of the General Health Questionnaire in a Chinese context

David W. Chana1 c1 and Tims S. C. Chana1

a1 Department of Psychiatry and the Psychiatric Epidemiology Research Unit, The Chinese University of Hong Kong


The 30-item General Health Questionnaire (GHQ), the 24-item Self-Reporting Questionnaire (SRQ), and a Chinese version of the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) were administered to 225 English-speaking Chinese. The GHQ was found to have high internal consistency as a scale and to assess 5 dimensions of psychopathology: anxiety, inadequate coping, depression, insomnia, and social dysfunctioning. As a brief screening instrument, it correlated 0·49 with the SRQ. In the ‘case–non-case’ classification, it yielded a concordance rate of above 75% with the SRQ. Using the MMPI modal profiles derived from classification research as criterion measures, sensitivity, specificity and correct classification rates were above 70%. Implications for future research with the GHQ are discussed.


c1 Address for correspondence: Dr David W. Chan, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Mediine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong.