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Patient health questionnaire (PHQ-9)

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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The PHQ-9 is a depression assessment tool which scores each of the 9 DSM-IV criteria as '0' (not at all) to '3' (nearly every day):

  • the PHQ-9 assessment tool been validated for use in Primary Care

  • the questionnaire is designed to assess the patient's mood over the last 2 weeks:

    • over the last 2 weeks, how often have you been bothered by any of the following problems?

      • 1) little interest or pleasure in doing things?

      • 2) Feeling down, depressed, or hopeless?

      • 3) trouble falling or staying asleep, or sleeping too much?

      • 4) Feeling tired or having little energy?

      • 5) poor appetite or overeating?

      • 6) feeling bad about yourself - or that you are a failure or have let yourself or your family down?

      • 7) trouble concentrating on things, such as reading the newspaper or watching television?

      • 8) moving or speaking so slowly that other people could have noticed? Or the opposite - being so fidgety or restless that you have been moving around a lot more than usual?

      • 9) thoughts that you would be better off dead, or of hurting yourself in some way?

        • for each of the nine tested criteria there are four possible answers:

        • Not at all = 0 points
        • Several days = 1 point
        • More than half the days = 2 points
        • Nearly every day = 3 points

        • the maximum total score is 9x3 = 27 points and the patient's score is thus a score out of 27 (e.g. 16 points = 16/27)

  • depression severity is graded based on the PHQ-9 score:
    • 0-4 None
    • 5-9 mild
    • 10-14 moderate
    • 15-19 moderately severe
    • 20-27 severe

For an online version of the PHQ9 then click here

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