gms | German Medical Science

GMS Psycho-Social-Medicine

Corporate journal of German scientific societies in psychosocial medicine

ISSN 1860-5214

Diagnostic instruments

Editorial Special issue: Diagnostic instruments

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  • corresponding author Philipp Yorck Herzberg - Universitätsklinikum Leipzig, Abteilung für Medizinische Psychologie, Leipzig, Germany
  • author Elmar Brähler - Universitätsklinikum Leipzig, Abteilung für Medizinische Psychologie, Leipzig, Germany

GMS Psychosoc Med 2006;3:Doc08

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: December 11, 2006

© 2006 Herzberg et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



As a psychological and medical journal, GMS Psycho-Social-Medicine places a high premium on the study of the behavioural, medical and social mechanisms that determine health, well-being and illness across the life span. GMS Psycho-Social-Medicine maintains also a vivid interest in the development and refinement of psychometric instrumentation for measuring psychological constructs. This special issue of GMS Psycho-Social-Medicine is dedicated to new developments and translations of questionnaires and scales from German researchers. Because both practitioners and researchers view the journal as an important source for new information relevant to their work, we find it useful to invite researchers from Germany to present their latest research on diagnostic instruments. Translation and adaptation of diagnostic instruments from foreign languages is a striving enterprise with considerable efforts taken into account. Translation and adaptation does not mean only translate instruments from other countries. Due to cultural diversification it is also mandatory to make instruments available to foreign-language ethnic minority groups within the own culture. The quality of data obtained from surveys of foreign-languages may be compromised by inadequacies in the translation procedures, failure to compare questionnaire content across languages, failure to consider the cultural appropriateness of items for use with foreign-language speakers, and lack of standardisation in terminology and sampling. The articles in this theme issue deal with the issues mentioned above and give valuable insights in proper translating and validating of diagnostic instruments from foreign languages. Furthermore, new developments are provided for practitioners and researchers who are invited to use the instruments and thereby contribute to the accumulation of evidence of these instruments. The range of the instruments provided here goes from evergreens like Antonovsky´s Sence of Coherence Scale, the HADS or the Profile of Mood Scale (POMS) to truly new instruments like the result of an impressive European cooperation, the KIDSCREEN/DISABKIDS scales. Keeping in mind that carefully developed and validated questionnaires and instruments are one of the very cornerstones of assessment and research, we hope that this special issue of GMS Psycho-Social-Medicine will stimulate further progress in the field of assessment and research.

Philipp Yorck Herzberg
Elmar Brähler