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Can the PHQ-9 tool accurately detect depression?

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Clinical depression, which affects 300 million people worldwide, is projected to increase.

PHQ-9: A tool used to detect depression

With significant findings for both clinicians and patients, a large international study found that the most commonly used clinical tool for measuring depression, PHQ-9, provides an easy-to-interpret single score of physical and emotional symptoms that accurately indicates the presence (or absence) and severity of the disorder, assists in diagnosis.

“You don’t treat hypertension or diabetes without measuring and monitoring a patient’s blood pressure with a blood pressure cuff or hemoglobin in the blood using the A1C test,” said Kurt Kroenke, MD, co-author of the new study, PHQ-9 developer and researcher at the Regenstri Institute and a lecturer at Indiana University School of Medicine.

“Similarly, in depression you need to be able to measure and monitor the presence of physical and emotional symptoms and their severity.

“This study found that free, easy-to-use PHQ-9, which can be administered in person, through telemedicine or on a computer, provides a single combined score of physical and emotional symptoms, which is a good indicator of the presence and severity of depression. physicians and patients alike to monitor outcomes and respond appropriately. ”

PHQ-9 rating scale

The study found that the combined rate of physical and emotional symptoms of PHQ-9 was accurate regardless of gender, age, and language of translation.

PHQ-9 scores are based on a patient’s self-assessment of physical and emotional symptoms over the past two weeks, including low mood, fatigue, sleep problems, inability to concentrate, loss of appetite, and lack of interest in normal activities.

PHQ-9 uses a 4-point rating scale, from 0 for “not at all” to 3 for “almost every day”.

“Determining that the single PHQ-9 physical and emotional symptom score is a good indicator of the presence and severity of depression, this study finally shows that two scales, one for physical and emotional symptoms, followed by the need to somehow balance the two scores, not with ‘are necessary, which facilitates the assessment and treatment of depression,’ “said Dr Croenke, a father of growing areas of symptomatology.

58,272 study participants from seven countries – the United States, France, Germany, Israel, New Zealand, Spain and Switzerland – completed the PHQ-9 in English, Spanish, French, German or Hebrew.

Source: Eurekalert

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