The Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ) is a self-administered version of the PRIME-MD tool for common mental health disorders administered by health care professionals. The PHQ-2 inquires about the frequency of depressed mood, with a score ranging from 0 to 6. The authors identify a cut-off score of 3 as the optimal cut point for screening purposes, and stated that a cut point of 2 would enhance sensitivity.
The PHQ-2, comprising the first 2 items of the PHQ-9, inquires about the degree to which an individual has experienced depressed mood and anhedonia over the past two weeks. Its purpose is not to establish final diagnosis or to monitor depression severity, but rather to screen for depression. Patients who screen positive should be further evaluated with the PHQ-9 to determine whether they meet criteria for a depressive disorder. The PHQ-2 has been validated in 3 studies in which it showed wide variability in sensitivity (Gilbody, Richards, Brealey, and Hweitt, 2007).
Developed by Drs. R.L. Spitzer, J.B.W. Williams, K. Kroenke and colleagues, with an educational grant from Pfizer, Inc. No permission required to reproduce, translate, display or distribute.
Kroenke, K., Spitzer, R.L., Williams, J.B. (2003). The Patient Health Questionnaire-2: validity of a two-item depression screener. Medical Care, 41:1284–92.
Spitzer R., Kroenke, K., Williams, J. (1999). Validation and utility of a self-report Version of PRIME-MD: the PHQ Primary Care Study. Journal of the American Medical Association, 282, 1737-1744.
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