The PHQ-9 depression test
The PHQ-9 (Patient Health Questionnaire-9) is a standardized depression test developed by the American Psychiatric Association. That means, it is designed to identify those who are likely suffering from depression. By its nature, it is not a final diagnosis, but rather the first sign that your experiences might fall into an intensity where they become relevant for professional treatment like psychotherapy or medication.
Please note that an official diagnosis can only be made by a mental healthcare professional.
The test contains 9 questions. If you can identify with some of these questions, it might be time to take your suspicion seriously and consult a mental healthcare professional. However, please keep in mind that this type of assessment only captures your symptoms at a specific point in time. If you are looking for a more thorough assessment, there are new ways that help you detect a depression.
Moodpath is a new way to detect & treat depression
Moodpath is better suited to identify your depression
Quick depression tests might be easier, but they are less conclusive and meaningful. Diagnosing depression is complex and requires the inclusion of many different criteria.
Moodpath is carefully designed to help you recognize and deal with your depression.
The mobile app has been clinically tested and validated. The app is a CE-certified medical product and measures the trend of your symptoms over the course of two weeks. During the screening you are introduced to a wide range of content that helps you to better understand your emotional and physical well-being and the effect that a depressive episode has on your cognition and behavior. At the end, you will receive a more precise evaluation, which you can print out and discuss with your doctor.
A good depression test determines the time period
A depressive episode, by definition, must persist for at least two weeks. Therefore, a good depression test will try to ensure that the symptoms have truly been occurring for this period, at the least.
Our perception, as well as our memory, can be distorted.
It is hard to remember if we slept poorly 9 days ago. That’s why Moodpath measures the symptoms while they are occurring, three times a day over the course of two weeks. This way, the effects of memory distortion can be limited and self-testing is made easier.
A good depression test measures all depressive symptoms
A minimum number of depressive symptoms is required for an official diagnosis. The symptoms can be sorted into two categories:
Key symptoms of depression include a depressed mood during most of the day, a loss of interest or pleasure in activities, fatigue and a loss of motivation. At least two additional symptoms are required for the diagnosis of a depressive episode. Those additional symptoms include loss of concentration, loss of confidence and self-esteem, unreasonable feeling of guilt, negative future perspectives, suicidal thoughts and behavior, sleep disturbance or insomnia and loss of appetite.
A good depression test evaluates the severity of depression
The severity of your depression corresponds with the number of symptoms you are showing. It closer describes what you are experiencing and what might be the best method of treatment.
There are three levels of severity of depression, namely a mild depressive episode with 1 key symptom and at least 2 additional symptoms, a moderate depressive episode with 2 key symptoms and 3-4 additional symptoms and a severe depressive episode with 3 key symptoms and more than 4 additional symptoms.
Quick online depression tests cannot measure the severity of depression.
A short depression test can only try to deduct if you have depression or not. Moodpath, however, measures your symptoms and their intensity consistently over time, so that after two weeks, you will know the severity of your depression.
A good depression test takes exclusion criteria into account
Sometimes depression can be confused with other things, for example an anxiety disorder. Or maybe a physical illness is the cause of your sleep loss or other emerging symptoms, thus requiring a different form of professional attention.
A good test has high reliability
A reliable test measures your true level of depression. If you were to take the test again tomorrow, and your depression hasn’t changed, your diagnosis must stay the same as well.
Time is an important factor in measuring depression.
Testing various times over a longer period can make a test reliable. This way, your accurate level of depression, including its severity, can be averaged, and measured correctly.
Moodpath asks you questions three times a day over the course of two weeks.
A good test distinguishes depression from anxiety or sadness
There is an important difference between being sad and being depressed, even though we generally do not distinguish that in our daily language. A valid test really measures depression and not, for example, an anxiety disorder or a phase of non-clinical sadness. Asking distinguishing questions (as well as examining the exclusion criteria) can ensure that a test is valid. This way, depression can be separated from other illnesses. Therefore, Moodpath inquires all relevant questions, that play an important role.