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October/November 2010 (vol. 07/3)

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Research Plus

Diagnosing depression

One simple question could replace a whole questionnaire in identifying depressive patients. A total of 595 patients with either low-back pain, whiplash or on disability benefits completed the Hopkins Symptom Checklist-25 questionnaire (HSCL-25) for depression and anxiety. They were also asked a single question: to what extent they had been affected by sadness or depression in the previous 30 days. A third of the participants were depressed according to the HSCL-25. The single question had a sensitivity of 79% and specificity of 81%, and identified most of the patients diagnosed with depression by the longer questionnaire.

Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, 2010; 38(6): 618–624.

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Occupational Health at Work October/November 2010 (vol. 07/3) pp40