Screening for depression in women with metastatic breast cancer: a comparison of the Beck Depression Inventory Short Form and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale

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Abstract

Objective

To compare two self-report questionnaires for identifying possible depression in women with metastatic breast cancer.

Method

We conducted structured psychiatric interviews and administered the Beck Depression Inventory Short Form (BDI-SF) and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) to 227 women with stage IV breast cancer. The accuracy for identifying DSM-IV-defined major and minor depression was examined. Sensitivity, specificity, positive (PPV) and negative (NPV) predictive values were calculated and receiver operating characteristic curves plotted.

Results

Seventy-four (32.6%) patients satisfied DSM-IV criteria for a depressive disorder. With a cut-off of 4, the BDI-SF had a sensitivity of 0.84, specificity of 0.63, and PPV of 0.52. A cut-off of 11 on the HADS-Depression scale (HADS-D) resulted in sensitivity, specificity, and PPV of 0.16, 0.97, and 0.75, respectively. For major depression alone, the BDI-SF with a cut-off of 5 had excellent sensitivity but poor PPV; the HADS, with a cut-off of 7, had weak sensitivity and PPV.

Conclusions

Overall, the two scales perform similarly in identifying major depression, while the BDI-SF is the more useful in screening for DSM-IV major or minor depression categories in this clinical group.

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