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Main article: Assessment of depression

Depression screeningEdit

Depression screening measures are not used to diagnose the condition, but they provide an indication of the severity of symptoms for a time period, so a person who scores above a given a cut-off point can be more thoroughly evaluated for a depressive disorder diagnosis.[1] Several rating scales are used for this purpose.[1] The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale[2] and the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale.[3][4] are the two most commonly used among those completed by clinicians. The Beck Depression Inventory is the most commonly used tool completed by patients, although scales completed by observers are more common.[4][5][6] The Geriatric Depression Scale is a self-administered scale used in older populations and also valid in patients with mild to moderate dementia.[7][8] The Patient Health Questionnaires (PHQ) are two self-administered questionnaires for use in primary care. The PHQ-2 has two screening questions about the frequency of depressed mood and a loss of interest in activities; a positive to either question indicates further testing is required.[9] The PHQ-9 is a slightly more detailed nine-question survey for assessing symptoms of major depressive disorder in greater detail, and is often used to follow up a positive PHQ-2 test.[10] Screening programs have been advocated to improve detection of depression, but there is evidence that the use of screening instruments does little to improve detection rates, treatment, or outcome.[11][12]

Measures for a fuller evaluationEdit

Children (age 7 or older)




Postpartum Depression

See alsoEdit


  1. 1.0 1.1 Sharp LK, Lipsky MS (September 2002). Screening for depression across the lifespan: a review of measures for use in primary care settings. American family physician 66 (6): 1001–8.
  2. Hamilton M (1960). A rating scale for depression. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry 23: 56–62.
  3. Montgomery SA, Asberg M (April 1979). A new depression scale designed to be sensitive to change. British Journal of Psychiatry 134: 382–9.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Demyttenaere K, De Fruyt J (2003). Getting what you ask for: on the selectivity of depression rating scales. Psychotherapy and psychosomatics 72: 61–70.
  5. Beck Depression Inventory - 2nd Edition. Nova Southeastern University Center for Center for Psychological Studies. URL accessed on 2008-10-17.
  6. Goodwin FK, Jamison KR (1990). Manic-Depressive Illness, pp. 361–62, New York: Oxford University Press.
  7. Yesavage JA (1988). Geriatric Depression Scale. Psychopharmacology Bulletin 24 (4): 709–11.
  8. Katz IR (1998). Diagnosis and treatment of depression in patients with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. The Journal of clinical psychiatry 59 Suppl 9: 38–44.
  9. Spitzer RL, Kroenke K, Williams JB (November 1999). Validation and utility of a self-report version of PRIME-MD: The PHQ primary care study. Primary care evaluation of mental disorders. Patient Health Questionnaire. Journal of the American Medical Association 282 (18): 1737–44.
  10. (2006). Resources for clinicians: Patient health questionnaire. The MacArthur Initiative on Depression Primary Care. Dartmouth College & Duke University. URL accessed on 2008-09-02.
  11. Gilbody S, House AO, Sheldon TA (2005). Screening and case finding instruments for depression. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (4).
  12. Gilbody S, Sheldon T, Wessely S (2006). Should we screen for depression?. British Medical Journal 332: 1027–30.

Further readingEdit


  • Carroll BJ, Fielding JM, Blashki TG. (1973) Depression rating scales. A critical review. Arch Gen Psychiatry. Mar;28(3):361–366.
  • Lader, M.J. (1981). The clinical assessment of depression. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 1981 January; 11(1): 5–14.

External linksEdit

Types of depression
Depressed mood | Clinical depression | Bipolar disorder |Cyclothymia | |Dysthymia |Postpartum depression | |Reactive | Endogenous |
Aspects of depression
The social context of depression | Risk factors | Suicide and depression | [[]] | Depression in men | Depression in women | Depression in children |Depression in adolescence |
Research on depression
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Biological factors in depression
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Depression theory
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Depression in clinical settings
Comorbidity | Depression and motivation | Depression and memory | Depression and self-esteem |
Assessing depression
Depression measures | BDI | HDRS | BHS |CES-D |Zung |[[]] |
Approaches to treating depression
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Prominant workers in depression|-
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