Optimizing Detection of Major Depression Among Patients with Coronary Artery Disease Using the Patient Health Questionnaire

This article examines several screening tools for depression among patients diagnosed with coronary artery disease.

Researchers conducted a cross-sectional study of 1,024 nonhospitalized patients with coronary artery disease. They evaluated the test characteristics of the two-item Patient Health Questionnaire, the nine-item Patient Health Questionnaire, a two-step screening approach, and the Computerized Diagnostic Interview Schedule.

Key Findings:

  • 22 percent of patients in the study had major depression.
  • The two Patient Health Questionnaires had similar sensitivity and specificity for identifying major depression. 
  • The two-step screening process did not perform better than either step conducted by itself.