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Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9)

How to Use

The Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) is a brief, 9-item self-report screening tool that may help identify symptoms that could relate to depression. The PHQ-9 was developed for use in primary care settings.   


How to Score

PHQ-9 score ≥10 (for major depression):
Sensitivity: 88%
Specificity: 88%
Kroenke K et al. J Gen Intern Med. 2001;16:606-613.


Add all circled answers. 

For every answer circled:
Not at all = 0
Several Days = 1
More than half the days = 2
Nearly every day = 3
The MacArthur Initiative on Depression and Primary Care at Dartmouth and Duke. Depression Management Tool Kit. Hanover, NH: Trustees of Dartmouth College, 2004.


The Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) has rapidly become the national and international gold standard measurement tool in major depression. Every treatment guideline around the world recommends use of measurement-based care. However, a shortcoming in our field is the lack of in-depth knowledge about what this instrument is, how to interpret scores, and how to utilize the PHQ-9 in everyday clinical practice. This short (less than 7 minutes), learner-friendly video is designed to introduce the PHQ-9 and get you ready to use it today. The creator and narrator of this video is Saundra Jain, MA, PsyD, LPC, a Psych Congress Steering Commitee member.

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