The Psychiatric Diagnostic Screening Questionnaire: development, reliability and validity

Compr Psychiatry. 2001 May-Jun;42(3):175-89. doi: 10.1053/comp.2001.23126.


The Psychiatric Diagnostic Screening Questionnaire (PDSQ) is a self-report scale designed to screen for the most common DSM-IV axis I disorders encountered in outpatient mental health settings. We report the results of four studies of the PDSQ involving more than 2,500 subjects receiving outpatient mental health care. In two studies we examined the understandability of the items on the PDSQ. Items that initially were less well understood were rewritten, and all items of the final version of the scale were understood by more than 90% of the respondents. In the other two studies, the reliability and validity of the PDSQ subscales was examined. A priori criteria were established to guide the revision of subscales. The final version of the questionnaire contains 13 subscales (major depressive disorder [MDD], bulimia, post-traumatic stress disorder [PTSD], panic disorder, agoraphobia, social phobia, generalized anxiety disorder [GAD], obsessive-compulsive disorder [OCD], alcohol abuse/dependence, drug abuse/dependence, somatization, hypochondriasis, and psychosis), each of which achieved good to excellent levels of internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and discriminant, convergent, and concurrent validity.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*