Scoring the CORE-10 measure

The CORE-10 measurement tool is a measure of psychological distress and is used across a wide range of situations. It is a shorter version of the CORE-OM tool. A higher score indicates greater psychological distress.

a) Introduction to scoring the CORE-10

CORE-10 has 10 questions across three different aspects of psychological wellbeing:

  • Problems and Symptoms (six items)
  • Functioning (three items)
  • Risk (one item)

Unlike CORE-OM it has no wellbeing items.

b) Scoring range

The scoring range of the CORE-OM is between 0 and 4, with 4 being the highest level of severity. As can be seen from the image above, some items are positively framed (items 3 and 4). For these items the scoring range is reversed.

The survivor considers each statement and how often they have felt like this over the past week. They are asked to then tick the box which corresponds most closely to their experience, using the categories at the top of each column from Not at all to Most or all the time.

c) How to calculate the mean total score

The CORE-10 can be used to calculate a mean clinical score by simply adding up all the scores for the 10 questions.

d) How to calculate mean domain scores

Given the small number of items, more granular domain scores are not used in the CORE-10 questionnaire.

What do the CORE-10 scores mean?

A higher score on the CORE measures, domains or individual items, indicates a higher level of distress or symptom severity.

Bandings are routinely used to help assess severity of the clinical score. Scores can generally be put into the same bandings as the CORE-OM:

  • 10 or less – Healthy/ low level problems
  • 11 to 14 – Mild psychological distress
  • 15 to 19 – Moderate psychological distress
  • 20 to 24 – Moderate-to-severe psychological distress
  • 25 or above – Severe psychological distress

Clinical cut-off for CORE-10 is 11. Therefore, a score below 11 is technically sub-clinical.

How do you know if the change is due to trauma treatment or chance?

CORE-10 is a validated tool to measure psychological distress. It has been thoroughly tested and checked. The reliable change index (or change required to be reliable and not just chance) for this measurement tool is 6.

NB this is different from the CORE-OM tool where the reliable change index is 5.

How to deal with missing data

Sometimes people decide they don’t want to complete a question, or simply miss one out. It is helpful to scan the form as soon as it is completed for any missing data and to encourage full completion

Total score adaptations if data is missing

  • If one-item is missing, pro-rating is used for up to 10% missing data (e.g., 1 item)

Sum together the available item scores (total score), divide by the number of items completed (e.g., 9 rather than 10) to get the mean score, and then multiple by 10 (to get the clinical score)

If more than one item is missing, it is not possible to score or interpret.


Scoring the CORE – Outcome Measure


Scoring the International Trauma Questionaire (ITQ)