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Patient Health Questionnaires

Patient Health Questionnaires

(PHQ; Spitzer, Kroenke, & Williams, 1999).

The PHQ is an 11-item self-report measure assessing symptoms of common mental health difficulties (i.e., depression, anxiety, somatoform, alcohol, and eating). The PHQ can be used as a screening tool (Spitzer et al., 1999), a diagnostic tool, and to measure symptom change over time (PHQ, 2010). A version of the PHQ for adolescents exists (PHQ-A, Johnson et al., 2002) although it does not meet our criteria due to its length. Respondents are asked about each symptom: “During the last 2 weeks (or more, depending on symptom), how much have you been bothered by any of the following problems?” Sample items include, “Little interest or pleasure in doing things” and “Feeling tired or having little energy.” Initial studies reveal adequate agreement between PHQ diagnoses and those of independent mental health professionals (k = .65; Spitzer et al., 1999). The PHQ demonstrates adequate construct validity in associations of PHQ diagnoses with markers of functional impairment (e.g., disability day use) and self-reported health care use (Spitzer et al., 1999). Versions of the PHQ are used across the globe and are available in over 25 languages (Wittkampf, Naeije, Schene, Huyser, & van Weert, 2007).

The measure is available online (


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