Validation of self-report depression rating scales in Huntington's disease

Mov Disord. 2010 Jan 15;25(1):91-6. doi: 10.1002/mds.22837.


The aim of this study was to assess the criterion validity of three self-report measures of depression in a sample of patients with Huntington's disease (HD). Fifty patients with HD completed the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), and the Depression Intensity Scale Circles (DISCs). Current psychiatric status was assessed using the schedules for clinical assessment in neuropsychiatry (SCAN), and ICD-10 diagnosis was used as the gold standard. Receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curves were obtained and the sensitivity, specificity, positive, and negative predictive values were calculated for different cut-off scores on each rating scale. Twelve patients (24%) met ICD-10 criteria for depressive disorder. The depression sub-scale of the HADS (HADS-D) at an optimal cut-off of 6/7 was found to discriminate maximally between depressed and nondepressed patients in this population. The DISCs at a cut-off of 1/2 also performed well at detecting possible "cases" of depression, whereas the BDI-II performed the least satisfactorily of all scales. The HADS-D and DISCs are good screening measures for depression in the HD population and the DISCs may be particularly useful in those patients with more severe communicative and cognitive deficits.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Depression / diagnosis*
  • Depression / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Huntington Disease / complications*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales*
  • ROC Curve
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Self Concept*
  • Severity of Illness Index