What Screening Tools Are Used for Depression?

 What Screening Tools Are Used for Depression?

Different kinds of self-report questionnaires called depression screening tools are used to identify melancholy.

Up to 6% of people worldwide experience depression, which is a prevalent condition. It usually consists of several symptoms, each of different severity, that have an impact on both mood and behaviour. In the worst-case scenario, depression may also make it difficult for you to keep connections or a job.

With the aid of equipment and technology, healthcare workers are taught to identify conditions. One kind of instrument that experts can use to check you for the existence of depressive symptoms is a depression screening exam.

You might be offered a depression screening exam if you've been exhibiting symptoms of depression and are considering consulting a mental health expert. The examination is straightforward and uncomplicated, and a therapy strategy will come next.

What are depression screening tools?

The phrase "depression screening tools" refers to a variety of self-report questionnaires used to ascertain whether you have been exhibiting signs of major depressive illness. They are primarily paper-and-pencil tests, but you can also submit them online.

How does a depression test work?

Numerous inquiries about the symptoms of melancholy are listed in depression tests, and some of them also ask you to evaluate how severe the symptoms are. The degree or regularity to which you encounter a symptom determines its severity. You will be given the exam to complete during your appointment by a medical professional.

Tests for melancholy come in a variety of forms. Some exams are used for particular age categories, while others are used under particular conditions. Although none are 100 per cent accurate, several frequently used exams can aid in the accurate diagnosis of melancholy.

The tests are simple to perform, typically only take a few minutes, and don't require any prior medical background or other information. The medical expert will assess your answers after you've finished the exam to decide the best course of action.

Most common depression assessment instruments

Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ)

For the majority of individuals, healthcare workers frequently use the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ) as their first choice of instrument. This is since 78% to 94% of the time, it can aid in the diagnosis of melancholy. Either a two-question (PHQ-2) or a nine-question poll is available. (PHQ-9).

Typically, the PHQ-2 is administered first to determine whether a generalised low mood is present. It will be followed, if required, by the PHQ-9, which is more thorough and useful for determining the general severity of melancholy. How many days a week do you encounter particular symptoms? is a question on the PHQ.

Beck Depression Inventory (BDI)

There are 21 items about melancholy in the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI). It requests that you rank the existence of specific symptoms between 0 and 3 on a measure. A more severe type of melancholy is indicated by higher results. The BDI is typically regarded as a trustworthy and effective exam.

Children’s Depression Inventory (CDI)

Children and teenagers between the ages of 7 and 17 are administered the Children's Depression Inventory (CDI). It is composed at a first-grade reading level in simple English. There are 10 to 27 queries on it. According to 2016 research, it can assist in making a diagnosis of paediatric melancholy with a success rate of 44% to 76%.

Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS)

For older people, 60 years of age and higher, the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) is used. Instead of having a severity ranking, the queries have a yes-or-no structure. It helps identify melancholy with a 75% to 86%Trusted Source accuracy rate and can have up to 30 queries.

Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS)

The 10-question Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale may be administered if you just gave birth and are feeling down. (EPDS). The Edinburgh measure requests that you rank the frequency of specific symptoms that you have noticed over the previous week. According to 2019 research, the EPDS had a 94% effectiveness rate.

Who can administer a depression test?

The exam can be given by any medical practitioner with experience in behavioural or mental health. No expert is necessary. This is due to the ease of administration and interpretation of these tests.

This implies that you can consult a primary care physician, a social worker, a psychologist, or a licenced mental health counsellor. Your healthcare provider can assist you in choosing the most effective course of therapy after the exam.

What to do after your depression test

Depression evaluation is usually followed by a therapy strategy. Your healthcare provider might decide, like major depressive disorder, and then go over the available treatments.

As a first move to help stabilise your mood and alleviate other depression symptoms, medications may be suggested. Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are standard treatments.

Additionally, psychotherapy is frequently advised. For therapies like cognitive behavioural therapy, a psychologist or counsellor might recommend you.

Self-care techniques used in additional therapies may include:

  • yoga
  • journaling
  • daily movement
  • meditation and mindfulness
  • spending time in nature

Research from 2021 found that exercise advice combined with medication improved depressive symptoms more effectively than medication alone.


What are some common screening scales for depression?

Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ)–2 and PHQ-9

What are the tools used for screening depression and anxiety in primary care?

Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9)

What is the most commonly used screening tool for MDD?

The Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ)

What are the screening tools for depression in older adults?

The Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), the Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia (CSDD), the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HAM-D), the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS), and the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale are popular screening instruments for depression in older people. (SDS).

Bottom line

Tools for detecting depression are a useful and convenient resource for medical workers. They're usually simple to complete, and they're generally effective at identifying both the presence and severity of depressive symptoms.

The first stage in being assessed for major depressive disorder if you have melancholy symptoms is to see a healthcare provider. A mental health expert can collaborate with you to develop a therapy strategy based on your findings.