Background: We have developed the Major Depression Inventory (MDI), consisting of 10 items, covering the DSM-IV as well as the ICD-10 symptoms of depressive illness. We aimed to evaluate this as a scale measuring severity of depressive states with reference to both internal and external validity.
Method: Patients representing the score range from no depression to marked depression on the Hamilton Depression Scale (HAM-D) completed the MDI. Both classical and modern psychometric methods were applied for the evaluation of validity, including the Rasch analysis.
Results: In total, 91 patients were included. The results showed that the MDI had an adequate internal validity in being a unidimensional scale (the total score an appropriate or sufficient statistic). The external validity of the MDI was also confirmed as the total score of the MDI correlated significantly with the HAM-D (Pearson's coefficient 0.86, P < or = 0.01, Spearman 0.80, P < or = 0.01).
Conclusion: When used in a sample of patients with different states of depression the MDI has an adequate internal and external validity.