Factor analysis of the Zung self-rating depression scale in a large sample of patients with major depressive disorder in primary care

Romera, Irene; Delgado-Cohen, Helena; Perez, Teresa; Caballero, Luis; Gilaberte, Immaculada
January 2008
BMC Psychiatry;2008, Vol. 8, Special section p1
Academic Journal
Background: The aim of this study was to examine the symptomatic dimensions of depression in a large sample of patients with major depressive disorder (MDD) in the primary care (PC) setting by means of a factor analysis of the Zung self-rating depression scale (ZSDS). Methods: A factor analysis was performed, based on the polychoric correlations matrix, between ZSDS items using promax oblique rotation in 1049 PC patients with a diagnosis of MDD (DSM-IV). Results: A clinical interpretable four-factor solution consisting of a core depressive factor (I); a cognitive factor (II); an anxiety factor (III) and a somatic factor (IV) was extracted. These factors accounted for 36.9% of the variance on the ZSDS. The 4-factor structure was validated and high coefficients of congruence were obtained (0.98, 0.95, 0.92 and 0.87 for factors I, II, III and IV, respectively). The model seemed to fit the data well with fit indexes within recommended ranges (GFI = 0.9330, AGFI = 0.9112 and RMR = 0.0843). Conclusion: Our findings suggest that depressive symptoms in patients with MDD in the PC setting cluster into four dimensions: core depressive, cognitive, anxiety and somatic, by means of a factor analysis of the ZSDS. Further research is needed to identify possible diagnostic, therapeutic or prognostic implications of the different depressive symptomatic profiles.


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