Emoqol 100, an ultra ultra-brief mood case-finding tool: A diagnostic accuracy study

J Family Med Prim Care. 2021 Oct;10(10):3590-3594. doi: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_40_21. Epub 2021 Nov 5.


Background: Case-finding for low mood in primary care can be time-consuming using current depression inventories.

Aim: To assess the diagnostic accuracy, of a single verbally administered question on the emotional quality of life (Emoqol 100), for low mood in patients with symptoms of distress in an ambulatory care setting.

Design and setting: Eligible patients were consecutive patients seen by one of the authors over 13 months with possible distress/low mood. The index test was the verbally asked Emoqol 100, which is the patient's emotional quality of life now, with 100 being perfect emotional health and 0 being the worst imaginable. The reference standard is the written version of the PHQ-9 with a cut point of ≥10.

Methods: A retrospective audit of consecutive consultations in a single primary care clinic.

Results: One hundred two patients were seen during the study period, of which 76 met the eligibility criteria for this audit, and there were 215 test results. For a cut point of <50 on the Emoqol 100 and the PHQ-9 ≥10 the sensitivity was 47% (95% CI 39-54), and the specificity was 93% (95% CI 86-100). The positive predictive value was 95%, and the negative predictive value was 37%.

Conclusion: This is the first accuracy estimation of the Emoqol 100. It appears to have a high specificity which means when it is positive (<50) it is a good estimate of a high PHQ-9, i.e. a mood issue probably exists. The test will be helpful for busy primary care clinicians as it takes less than 15 seconds to verbally administer.

Keywords: Clinical audit; depression; primary health care; sensitivity and specificity.