Background: Previous studies have shown that different cultures have various modes for emotional expression which suggest that Western scales have certain limitations. The purpose of this study was to develop a culturally relevant depression screening questionnaire: the "Taiwanese Depression Questionnaire" (TDQ) which can be used to conduct epidemiological surveys in Taiwanse society.
Methods: Based on the results of previous studies and related references, a draft of the TDQ was constructed. After several research group discussions, the first version of a 20-item draft was developed. By purposive sampling, 48 patients, from depressive disorder and anxiety disorder groups of Chang Gung Memorial Hospital's psychiatric clinics, self-rated the draft to test the wording, sequences, and its concurrent validity. After item analysis, a meeting of experts, and draft modification, an 18-item second version of the draft was established. Afterwards, 107 community subjects, recruited from Jenwu Township of Kaohsiung County, were sampled for the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis, conventional validity index, and internal consistency of reliability.
Results: The results demonstrate that Cronbach's alpha coefficient (0.90), concurrent validity, and the area under the ROC curves (0.92) are all quite satisfactory. The 18-item TDQ had a sensitivity of 0.89 and a specificity of 0.92 at a cutoff score of 19.
Conclusions: The TDQ is a culturally relevant questionnaire, which is adaptable for screening depressive people in the local communities.