The visual analogue mood scale: can a single-item scale accurately classify depressive mood state?

Psychol Rep. 1999 Dec;85(3 Pt 2):1238-43. doi: 10.2466/pr0.1999.85.3f.1238.


Visual analogue mood scales provide extremely rapid, single-item assessment of affective states. This study examined discrimination on a single-item visual analogue depression scale between dysphoric or mildly depressed and nondepressed individuals in a sample of 284 college students. The visual analogue mood scale significantly discriminated subjects by mood category and achieved comparable hit rate, sensitivity, and specificity relative to other well validated mood scales.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Depression / classification*
  • Depression / diagnosis
  • Depression / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pain Measurement / statistics & numerical data*
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychometrics
  • Reference Values
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Students / psychology