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October 1982

Screening for Depression in a Community Sample: Understanding the Discrepancies Between Depression Symptom and Diagnostic Scales

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Epidemiology and Public Health (Drs Boyd, Weissman, and Thompson), Psychiatry (Dr Weissman), and Sociology (Dr Myers), Yale University, New Haven, Conn, and the Depression Research Unit, Connecticut Mental Health Center, New Haven (Dr Weissman). Dr Boyd is now an Epidemiology Fellow at the Center for Epidemiologie Studies, Division of Biometry and Epidemiology, National Institute of Mental Health, Rockville, Md.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1982;39(10):1195-1200. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1982.04290100059010

• Discrepancies between the symptoms of depression, as found in a self-report questionnaire (Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale [CES-D]), and the diagnosis of major depression as made by the Research Diagnostic Criteria (RDC) occurred in a community survey. The discrepancies can be explained by the subject's psychiatric or medical disorders other than depression, by nay saying during the interview, or by the exclusion criteria of the RDC (duration of symptoms, role impairment, or help seeking) that are not part of the CES-D. Results show that the discrepancies can be readily explained.