1 School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences, The University of Queensland, Australia Active Healthy Kids Bangladesh, Bangladesh

2 Department of Business Administration, Stamford University Bangladesh, Bangladesh

3 Department of Health Promotion & Health Education, Bangladesh University of Health Sciences, Bangladesh

4 Environmental Interventions Unit, Infectious Disease Division, icddr,b, Bangladesh

5 Health Systems and Population Studies Division, icddr,b, Bangladesh BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University, Bangladesh


The 6 item Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K6) is a screening tool for psychological distress with robust psychometric properties; however, information is lacking on such properties of the scale on its Bangla version. The aim of this study was to evaluate the psychometric properties of the Bangla version of the K6 scale in young people.

A self-administered questionnaire survey was conducted between August 2017 and April 2018 among 718 students aged 13-24 years (45% females) from Dhaka, Bangladesh. Psychological distress was assessed using the Bangla K6. The survey was repeated in a week. Statistical software AMOS 25 and Stata SE 14 were used to conduct the analyses.

The Bangla K6 scale demonstrated an acceptable internal consistency with high Cronbach alpha. Principal component analysis confirmed a single-factor structure of the scale. Confirmatory factor analysis supported the one-factor structure of the scale with adequate fit to the survey data. Test-retest reliability was acceptable with good reliability coefficients. Receiver operating characteristic analyses showed good prediction of depressive symptoms by the Bangla K6 scores.

This study provides an initial support for the Bangla K6 scale as an acceptable instrument to assess psychological distress of Bangla-speaking young people. More research is needed to understand our ability to identify vulnerable individuals, whose native language is Bangla and who are in need of mental health support.