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Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 601640, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/601640
Research Article

Validation of the Revised Stressful Life Event Questionnaire Using a Hybrid Model of Genetic Algorithm and Artificial Neural Networks

1Industrial Engineering Department, Sharif University of Technology, P.O. Box 11365-9466, Tehran, Iran
2Mental Health Unit, Cardiovascular Research Center, Isfahan Cardiovascular Research Institute, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, P.O. Box 81465-1148, Isfahan, Iran
3Cardiac Rehabilitation Research Center, Isfahan Cardiovascular Research Institute, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran
4Cardiovascular Research Center, Isfahan Cardiovascular Research Institute, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan, Iran

Received 21 November 2012; Revised 2 January 2013; Accepted 2 January 2013

Academic Editor: Guang Wu

Copyright © 2013 Rasoul Sali et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Objectives. Stressors have a serious role in precipitating mental and somatic disorders and are an interesting subject for many clinical and community-based studies. Hence, the proper and accurate measurement of them is very important. We revised the stressful life event (SLE) questionnaire by adding weights to the events in order to measure and determine a cut point. Methods. A total of 4569 adults aged between 18 and 85 years completed the SLE questionnaire and the general health questionnaire-12 (GHQ-12). A hybrid model of genetic algorithm (GA) and artificial neural networks (ANNs) was applied to extract the relation between the stressful life events (evaluated by a 6-point Likert scale) and the GHQ score as a response variable. In this model, GA is used in order to set some parameter of ANN for achieving more accurate results. Results. For each stressful life event, the number is defined as weight. Among all stressful life events, death of parents, spouse, or siblings is the most important and impactful stressor in the studied population. Sensitivity of 83% and specificity of 81% were obtained for the cut point 100. Conclusion. The SLE-revised (SLE-R) questionnaire despite simplicity is a high-performance screening tool for investigating the stress level of life events and its management in both community and primary care settings. The SLE-R questionnaire is user-friendly and easy to be self-administered. This questionnaire allows the individuals to be aware of their own health status.