Background: A self-report method seeking a binary response for assessing depression is a cost-effective and time-efficient way to obtain a psychiatric history, yet the reliability of this method is largely unknown. The aim of the study was to compare and assess the validity of two methods for identifying a past history of depression in a population-based study.
Methods: This study examined data collected from 891 men and 1086 women participating in the Geelong Osteoporosis Study. Self-reports of depression were compared with results obtained using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV-TR Research Version, Non-patient edition (SCID-I/NP).
Results: Using the SCID-I/NP, 146 (16.4%) men and 285 (26.2%) women met criteria for a lifetime depression. Of those participants, 61.0% (n=263) self-reported a history of depression. The level of agreement between self-reporting depression and the SCID-I/NP depression module was reasonably high; 61% sensitivity, 89.5% specificity and the overall level of agreement (kappa) was 0.5.
Limitations: Results may not be generalizable to other self-report instruments or be suitable for use in clinical samples.
Conclusion: The SCID-I/NP remains the gold standard for identifying depression; however, given the moderate level of agreement between the self-report questionnaire and SCID-I/NP in our current study, we conclude that simple self-report methods can be used to identify depression with some degree of confidence.
Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.