The Shona Symptom Questionnaire

Information about Measure
First Name Patel
Last Name Vikram
Email Not Available
Affiliation Harvard Medical School, Institute of Global Health and Social Medicine
Other means of contacting author (e.g., website,, ResearchGate)
Mental health assessment tool that was adapted/developed/validated The Shona Symptom Questionnaire
Mental health condition assessed Common Mental Health Disorders
Idiom of distress included, if any Not Applicable
Lifestage of interest Adult (General)
Age range (age – age) 16 – 65
Country or countries where tool was developed/adapted/validated Zimbabwe
Language(s) of the adapted/developed/validated tool Shona
Clinical or community sample? Other
Subpopulation in which tool was developed/validated (e.g., tool was developed and tested among middle-class women)? The tool was validated in clinical samples drawn from primary health care clinics, traditional medical practitioners, and community residents.
Development procedures locally-developed, validated
If validated, what was the gold standard? The Revised Clinician Interview Schedule (Shona translation) and clinician rated ‘caseness’
Description of other development procedures, if applicable The SSQ items were developed from focus groups and interviews with community members, traditional medical practitioners, and expert panel review.
Cronbach’s alpha 0.85
Sensitivity 0.82
Spec 0.7
Other information about tool (e.g., additional psychometrics [NPV, PPV, Youden’s index, diagnostic odds ratio]) The validation sample (n=302) was drawn from community residents, primary care clinics, and traditional medical providers. Specificity and sensitivity above are reported at a cutoff of 5/6. At this cutoff, PPV=.58 and NPV =.89.
Citations of development/adaptation/validation studies and/or previous studies using the tool Patel, V., Simunyu, E., Gwanzura, F., Lewis, G., & Mann, A. (1997). The Shona Symptom Questionnaire: the development of an indigenous measure of common mental disorders in Harare. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica95(6), 469–475. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0447.1997.tb10134.x
Notes when administering the tool The scale is developed to be administered as self-report or read aloud by a literate lay-person. The SSQ is a 14 item questionnaire that asks if subjects have experienced a symptom in the last week (1= yes, 0= no). The total score is used.