A visual analogue scale companion for the six-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale

Tamara May, Saxby Pridmore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The six-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD6) is a clinician rated measure which lacks a self-report companion. We explored whether a six-item client rated visual analogue scale (VAS6) based on the HAMD6, was a consistent and valid measure of depression and useful for clinical practice. Method: Participants were N = 117 participants, 88 (75%) female, with major depressive disorder (MDD) who received transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Pre- and post-treatment a trained clinician completed the HAMD6 and Clinical Global Impression Scale for Severity (CGI-S), and patients the self-reported VAS6. Results: VAS6 internal consistency using Cronbach's alpha was 0.87. VAS6-HAMD6/GGI-S spearman correlations were moderate-strong for four items (depressed mood; work/activities; feelings of guilt; anxiety) and the total score and weak for two items (somatic symptoms, retardation). Conclusions: The self-reported VAS6 was a valid measure of core aspects of depression measured by the HAMD6. It is cost effective (takes relatively little clinician time) and is a useful companion to the clinician reported HAMD6.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-9
Number of pages7
JournalAustralian Psychologist
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020


  • depression
  • Hamilton Depression Rating Scale
  • psychometric
  • transcranial magnetic stimulation
  • visual analogue scale

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