Patient Health Questionnaire

The Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ) is a popular, self-administered screening measure for evaluating the severity of mental health disorders in primary care settings.

Initial Development and Validation

The PHQ was developed by Robert L. Spitzer, Janet B. W. Williams, and Kurt Kroenke. The measure was derived from the Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders (PRIME-MD), which is a diagnostic tool for the most common types of mental health disorders presenting in medical populations: depressive, anxiety, somatoform, alcohol, and eating disorders. However, as a two-stage system in which the patient first completed a 26-item screen followed by additional questions by a clinician in the areas that screened positive, Spitzer and his colleagues noted that the PRIME-MD was administratively cumbersome for busy primary care settings. In the initial ...

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