September 1983

Self-report Depression Scales-Reply

Author Affiliations

Center for Epidemiologic Studies National Institute of Mental Health Room 18-C-05 Parklawn Bldg 5600 Fishers Lane Rockville, MD 20857
Depression Research Unit Department of Psychiatry Yale University School of Medicine New Haven, Conn
Department of Epidemiology and Public Health Yale University School of Medicine New Haven, Conn
Department of Sociology Yale University New Haven, Conn

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1983;40(9):1035-1036. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1983.01790080117021

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In Reply.—  Mr Zimmerman has some exciting ideas for a self-report instrument to assess major depression. We have attempted to try out his ideas with some of the data from the 1975 to 1976 New Haven (Conn) Health Survey, although we did not have all the information suggested. Using items from the CES-D, the Symptom Checklist-90 (SCL-90), the Social Adjustment Self-report Questionnaire, and some questions on suicidal feelings, we have simulated a self-report instrument that has better face validity than the traditional CES-D for the detection of RDC-diagnosed major depression.In this reanalysis of the data we followed two principles suggested by Zimmerman. First, we used self-report items that are directly parallel to specific criteria in the RDC definition of major depression, and second, we counted only those Items that were scored above a given threshold.Specifically, we considered criterion A of the RDC definition of major depression (dysphoric mood) to be

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