The construction of a brief case-finding instrument for depression in the physically ill

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Using a computer-assisted technique of searching exhaustively for combinations of items, a brief instrument was developed to identify cases of depression in the physically ill. The search technique, using Quality ROC as the measure of test efficiency, was employed on a sample of 120 patients and then the rules were applied to a validation sample. All patients had completed a 60-item self-report inventory (GHQ), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression (HAD) scale and the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), and had undergone a structured diagnostic interview. The derived instrument of 4 items performed better than the standard GHQ, HAD, and BDI in identifying patients with DSM-III-R defined depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-123
Number of pages7
JournalIntegrative Psychiatry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 1994


  • Case-finding
  • Depression
  • Physically ill
  • Screening

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