Validation of a Tibetan translation of the Hopkins Symptom Checklist-25 and the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire

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anxiety; PTSD; depression; Tibetan refugees; torture; cross-cultural assessment


Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


This study sought to translate and validate the Hopkins Symptom Checklist–25 (HSCL) and the Harvard Trauma Questionnaire (HTQ) in a Tibetan population. Translated questionnaires were administered to 57 Tibetan survivors of torture/human rights abuses living in the United States and receiving services in a torture treatment program. Participants were evaluated to determine if they met criteria for major depressive episode, generalized anxiety disorder, or posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Coefficient alpha for the HSCL Anxiety subscale (.89), Depression subscale (.92), and the HTQ (.89) were high. Diagnostic accuracy using receiver operating characteristic curve analysis generated good classification accuracy for anxiety (.89), depression (.92), and PTSD (.83). However, although sensitivity and specificity for HSCL subscales were quite high, the HTQ generated low sensitivity (.33), partly because of a low rate of PTSD. Results support the reliability and validity of the HSCL but suggest further study of the HTQ with this population is required.

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