Depression Screening

Please correct the errors described below.

Over the last 2 weeks, how often have you been bothered by any of the following problems?

(Healthcare professional: For interpretation of TOTAL, please refer to accompanying scoring card).

PHQ-9 Patient Depression Questionnaire

For initial diagnosis:

  1. Patient completes PHQ-9 Quick Depression Assessment.
  2. If there are at least 4 3s in the shaded section (including Questions #1 and #2), consider a depressive disorder. Add score to determine severity.

Consider Major Depressive Disorder

  • if there are at least 5 3s in the shaded section (one of which corresponds to Question #1 or #2)

Consider Other Depressive Disorder

  • if there are 2-4 3s in the shaded section (one of which corresponds to Question #1 or #2)

Note: Since the questionnaire relies on patient self-report, all responses should be verified by the clinician, and a definitive diagnosis is made on clinical grounds taking into account how well the patient understood the questionnaire, as well as other relevant information from the patient.

Diagnoses of Major Depressive Disorder or Other Depressive Disorder also require impairment of social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning (Question #10) and ruling out normal bereavement, a history of a Manic Episode (Bipolar Disorder), and a physical disorder, medication, or other drug as the biological cause of the depressive symptoms.

To monitor severity over time for newly diagnosed patients or patients in current treatment for depression:

  1. Patients may complete questionnaires at baseline and at regular intervals (eg, every 2 weeks) at home and bring them in at their next appointment for scoring or they may complete the questionnaire during each scheduled appointment.
  2. Add up 3s by column. For every 3: Several days = 1 More than half the days = 2 Nearly every day = 3
  3. Add together column scores to get a TOTAL score.
  4. Refer to the accompanying PHQ-9 Scoring Box to interpret the TOTAL score.
  5. Results may be included in patient files to assist you in setting up a treatment goal, determining degree of response, as well as guiding treatment intervention.

Scoring: add up all checked boxes on PHQ-9

For every check Not at all = 0; Several days = 1; More than half the days = 2; Nearly every day = 3

Interpretation of Total Score

Total Score

Depression Severity


Minimal depression


Mild depression


Moderate depression


Moderately severe depression


Severe depression

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