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1.  Validation of the Revised Stressful Life Event Questionnaire Using a Hybrid Model of Genetic Algorithm and Artificial Neural Networks 
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.
PMCID: PMC3580934  PMID: 23476715
2.  Association of Perceived Stress with Stressful Life Events, Lifestyle and Sociodemographic Factors: A Large-Scale Community-Based Study Using Logistic Quantile Regression 
Objective. The present paper aimed at investigating the association between perceived stress and major life events stressors in Iranian general population. Methods. In a cross-sectional large-scale community-based study, 4583 people aged 19 and older, living in Isfahan, Iran, were investigated. Logistic quantile regression was used for modeling perceived stress, measured by GHQ questionnaire, as the bounded outcome (dependent), variable, and as a function of most important stressful life events, as the predictor variables, controlling for major lifestyle and sociodemographic factors. This model provides empirical evidence of the predictors' effects heterogeneity depending on individual location on the distribution of perceived stress. Results. The results showed that among four stressful life events, family conflicts and social problems were more correlated with level of perceived stress. Higher levels of education were negatively associated with perceived stress and its coefficients monotonically decrease beyond the 30th percentile. Also, higher levels of physical activity were associated with perception of low levels of stress. The pattern of gender's coefficient over the majority of quantiles implied that females are more affected by stressors. Also high perceived stress was associated with low or middle levels of income. Conclusions. The results of current research suggested that in a developing society with high prevalence of stress, interventions targeted toward promoting financial and social equalities, social skills training, and healthy lifestyle may have the potential benefits for large parts of the population, most notably female and lower educated people.
PMCID: PMC3471433  PMID: 23091560

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