The K10 is a widely used, recommended measurement of psychological distress. It is a self report measure and designed for use in the general population.

The K10 has 5 possible responses for each question: all of the time, most of the time, some of the time, a little of the time and none of the time. They are scored from 5 through to 1.

The maximum score is 50 indicating severe distress, the minimum score is 10 indicating no distress.

The breakdown is as follows:

K10 ScoreLevel of psychological distress
10-15Low
16-21Moderate
22-29High
30-50Very high

Reference
Kessler RC, Barker PR, Colpe LJ, Epstein JF, Gfroerer JC, Hiripi E, et al. Screening for serious mental illness in the general population. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2003 Feb;60(2):184-9.