We present a study on selection of a psychometric scale to be clinically used among Indigenous people with depression. Our aim was to select a psychometric tool for cultural adaptation with Mohawk and Inuit in Quebec.
We selected three depression scales and three protective factor scales based on: strong validity for psychometric properties, evidence for good psychometric qualities across translations, avoidance of cognitively complex sentences, brevity, and clarity. We submitted the scales for consultation, and followed qualitative participatory methods with Mohawks of Kahnawake and Inuit from Nunavik living in an urban environment. We collected data through ten focus groups with advisory committees, and carried out a thematic analysis of the information.
The advisory groups considered the measurement scales to be unsafe. The major components that hindered their acceptance were: numeric rating, self-evaluation (versus supportive interaction), and a focus on symptoms rather than supportive factors. The participants preferred the Growth and Empowerment Measure due to its empowering approach. They voiced that it is necessary to develop a culturally sensitive and safe tool which facilitates interactions between the person and the practitioner.
This project provides valuable information about the perspectives of local Indigenous peoples regarding mental health and factors of empowerment and resilience. The ideal tool should be flexible in terms of the content and its use as compared to the conventional psychometric strategies. A tool developed with the Indigenous perspective on wellbeing could be used in psychological and psychiatric intervention as well as in social and community services.