Measuring the severity of depression and remission in primary care: validation of the HAMD-7 scale

McIntyre, Roger S.; Konarski, Jakub Z.; Mancini, Deborah A.; Fulton, Kari A.; Parikh, Sagar V.; Grigoriadis, Sophie; Grupp, Larry A.; Bakish, David; Filteau, Marie-Josee; Gorman, Chris; Nemeroff, Charles B.; Kennedy, Sidney H.
November 2005
CMAJ: Canadian Medical Association Journal;11/22/2005, Vol. 173 Issue 11, p1327
Academic Journal
Background: Symptomatic remission is the optimal outcome in depression. A brief, validated tool for symptom measurement that can indicate when remission has occurred in mental health and primary care settings is unavailable. We evaluated a 7-item abbreviated version (HAMD-7) of the 17-item Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD-17) in a randomized controlled clinical trial of patients with major depressive disorder being cared for in primary care settings. Methods We enrolled 454 patients across 47 primary care settings who met DSM-IV-TR criteria for a major depressive disorder. Of these, 410 patients requiring antidepressant medication were randomized to have their symptoms rated with either HAMD-7 (n = 205) or HAMD-17 (n = 205) as the primary measurement tool. The primary outcome was the proportion of patients who achieved a-priori defined responses to 8 weeks of therapy using each instrument. Results Of the 205 participants per group, 67% of those evaluated with HAMD-7 were classified as having responded to therapy (defined as a ≥ 50% reduction from the pretreatment score), compared with 74% of those evaluated with HAMD-17 (p = 0.43). The difference between the groups' changes in scores from baseline (pretreatment) to endpoint was significant...


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