What is known on the subject?
What does this paper add to existing knowledge?
What are the implications for practice?Introduction:
There is a constant need for theoretically sound and valid self-report instruments for measuring psychological distress. Previous studies have shown that the Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale-21 (DASS-21) is theoretically sound, but there have been some inconsistent results regarding its factor structure.Aims:
The aim of the present study was to investigate and elucidate the factor structure and convergent validity of the DASS-21.Methods:
A total of 624 participants recruited from student, primary care and psychotherapy populations. The factor structure of the DASS-21 was assessed by confirmatory factor analyses and the convergent validity by investigating its unique correlations with other psychiatric instruments.Results:
A bifactor structure with depression, anxiety, stress and a general factor provided the best fit indices for the DASS-21. The convergent validity was adequate for the Depression and Anxiety subscales but more ambiguous for the Stress subscale.Discussion:
The present study overall supports the validity and factor structure of the DASS-21.Implications for practice:
The DASS-21 can be used to measure symptoms of depression and anxiety as well as overall distress. It can be useful for mental health nurses, and other first-line psychiatric professionals, in need of a short, feasible and valid instrument in everyday care