The Brief Depression Scale - Reliability and validity of a new self-rating depression scale

S. Lynch, S. Curran, S. Montgomery, D. Fairhurst, P. Clarkson, R. Suresh, R. Edwards

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    A new, ten-item, self-rated depression scale, the Brief Depression Scale (BDS), was validated in 275 psychiatric in-patients and out-patients with depressive illness and anxiety disorders and a non-clinical sample of 50 subjects. The BDS showed satisfactory convergence with the interview-rated Montgomery Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (r(s) = 0.72 and p <0.001) and Hamilton Depression Rating Scales (r(s) = 0.70 and p <0.001) and with the depression subscale of the self-rated Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (r(s) = 0.89 and p <0.0001). The BDS had satisfactory internal consistency with a Cronbach's a-value of 0.86. The construct validity of the scale was assessed by principal components analysis and a two-factor solution was found in the clinical sample which explained 54% of the variance in the BDS total score. The sensitivity of the scale to clinical change in patients treated over an 8 week period was found to be satisfactory (as judged by the biserial correlation coefficient of change in BDS score with changes in other depression measures). The BDS had a sensitivity of 87% and specificity of 90% at a cut-off score of 19. The BDS is a brief, reliable and valid measure which may be useful in primary and secondary care settings as both a screening and outcome measure for depression.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)111-118
    Number of pages7
    JournalPrimary Care Psychiatry
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2000


    • Brief Depression Scale
    • Convergent validity
    • Reliability
    • Sensitivity to change


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