Psychometric Properties of Psychological Scales in the Recruit Health Questionnaire


  1. Lee, J.C.E.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Centre for Operational Research and Analysis, Ottawa ON (CAN);Director General Military Personnel Research & Analysis, Ottawa ONT (CAN)
The Recruit Health Questionnaire (RHQ) is a paper and pencil measure that was developed to gather general background information and assess current health status and practices among Canadian Forces (CF) recruits. This report documents the scoring methodology of psychological scales of the RHQ, presents a brief review of the literature on their psychometric properties in civilian and military populations, and further examines these properties in the CF recruit population. Psychometric analyses were performed on data from 1,120 CF recruits (68% non-commissioned member [NCM] and 32% Officer candidates) who completed the RHQ in their first week of Basic Training in 2003. The internal consistency of each scale was evaluated by examining Cronbach’s alpha or Kuder-Richardson formula 20 coefficients, as well as item-total correlations. While all psychological scales included in the RHQ have been deemed psychometrically sound in previous research, a small number of these demonstrated marginal or low internal consistency when applied to the CF recruit population (e.g., subscales of the Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Checklist-Civilian Version and the 20-item Toronto Alexithymia scale, as well as the Patient Health Questionnaire 15-item somatic symptoms scale, the Childhood Adversity scale and the Exposure to Violence scale). Nevertheless, the vast majority of psychological scales demonstrated high internal consistency, indicating that the RHQ is a reliable tool to assess psychosocial

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Report Number
DRDC-CORA-TM-2008-048 — Technical Memorandum
Date of publication
01 Nov 2008
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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