Psychometric evaluation of a screening question for persistent depressive disorder

Elisa Brinkmann*, Sarah Glanert, Michael Hüppe, Ana Sofia Moncada Garay, Sophie Tschepe, Ulrich Schweiger, Jan Philipp Klein

*Corresponding author for this work
1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: About one in five patients with depression experiences a chronic course. Despite the great burden associated with this disease, there is no current screening instrument for Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD). In the present study, we examine a short screening test, the persistent depression screener (PDS), that we developed for DSM-5 PDD. The PDS is comprised of one question that is administered following an initial self-assessment for depression. Methods: Ninety patients from an inpatient clinic/day clinic specialized in treating depression completed the PDS. They were also assessed using a structured clinical interview covering the DSM-5 criteria for PDD. Retest reliability was examined after two weeks (n = 69, 77%). Results: In this sample, the prevalence of PDD was 64%. Sensitivity of the PDS was 85% with a positive predictive value of 80%. Specificity was 63%. Positive and negative likelihood ratios were 2.3 and.24, respectively. Agreement between the PDS results and the outcome of the clinical interview was moderate (Cohen's Kappa κ =.48 ([95%-CI.28,.68], p <.001, SE = 0.10)). Prevalence-adjusted bias-adjusted Kappa was PABAK =.53. Retest reliability of the PDS was moderate (Cohen's Kappa κ =.52 ([95%-CI.3,.74], p <.001, SE = 0.11)). Conclusions: The present study shows that the PDS - when applied following a self-rating depression scale - might be a valid and reliable way to detect PDD. However, the results of the PDS must be confirmed by a diagnostic interview.

Original languageEnglish
Article number119
JournalBMC Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 23.04.2019

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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