Validation of the telephone-administered PHQ-9 against the in-person administered SCID-I major depression module. Academic Article uri icon


  • BACKGROUND: We assessed item-to-item correspondence between the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) and the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders (SCID-I) major depression episode portion of the major depressive module. METHOD: Four hundred and ninety-eight soldiers in the Ohio National Guard were administered the PHQ-9 and SCID-I. Data were analyzed using chi-square analyses, logistic regression, receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analyses and diagnostic efficiency statistics. RESULTS: To screen for depression effectively, results indicate use of the cardinal first two items, items representing fatigue, appetite and sleep changes with an item level cut-off point of two, and the item representing suicidal ideation with item level cut-off point of one. Further, total PHQ-9 scores significantly predicted SCID-I major depressive episode (MDE) and diagnosis (MDD) with moderate accuracy. Lastly, the cut-off total score of 10 had the optimal balance of sensitivity and specificity compared to other PHQ-9 scoring options. LIMITATIONS: Differences in timeline of administration of the measures, differences in "worst episode" reference between the measures, and use of a specific military population are some of the limitations. CONCLUSIONS: This validation study provides guidelines for the use of the telephone-administered PHQ-9 in assessing the lifetime prevalence of a major depressive episode and diagnosis in non-clinical populations, with implications for clinical use.

published proceedings

  • J Affect Disord

altmetric score

  • 10

author list (cited authors)

  • Fine, T. H., Contractor, A. A., Tamburrino, M., Elhai, J. D., Prescott, M. R., Cohen, G. H., ... Calabrese, J. R.

citation count

  • 30

complete list of authors

  • Fine, Thomas H||Contractor, Ateka A||Tamburrino, Marijo||Elhai, Jon D||Prescott, Marta R||Cohen, Gregory H||Shirley, Edwin||Chan, Philip K||Goto, Toyomi||Slembarski, Renee||Liberzon, Israel||Galea, Sandro||Calabrese, Joseph R

publication date

  • September 2013