May 1989

Rating Weight Loss on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale-Reply

Author Affiliations

Department of Psychiatry College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University New York, NY 10032

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1989;46(5):482. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1989.01810050096020

In Reply.—  Rausch and Sanchez note an important potential problem with the version of the HDRS used in the development of the Structured Interview Guide for the HDRS. As stated in the original article, I used the version of the HDRS that appears in the ECDEU Manual,1 which appears to be the most widely used in this country. In this version, when weight loss is not assessed, a score of 3 is assigned to that item. Some investigators may wish to adopt Rausch and Sanchez' suggestion and code the item as missing data when weight loss is not assessed, rather than score the item as 3.Many other significant problems exist with this rating scale, such as the restricted content range of its items,2,3 inadequacies in many of its scale point descriptions,2 the poor validity of some of its items,4,5 and difficulties applying it to the physically

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