Professional News
PHQ-9 Becoming Popular Tool
Psychiatric News
Volume 40 Number 11 page 5-5

The nine-item Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) is derived from the Primary Care Evaluation of Mental Disorders (PRIME-MD) to assist general practitioners in the diagnosis and evaluation of psychiatric disorders.

Robert Spitzer, M.D., Kurt Kroenke, M.D., and colleagues at Columbia University developed the PRIME-MD in the mid-1990s in collaboration with researchers at the Regenstrief Institute at Indiana University.

Currently, a number of primary care practices in New York City are using the PHQ-9 to screen patients for depression (Psychiatric News, May 20). In addition, according to Kroenke, who is one of the co-principal investigators for the primary care track of the National Depression Management Leadership Initiative, the PHQ-9 is used for depression screening in some places by the VA and the Kaiser Permanente health care system.

The questionnaire includes items corresponding to each of the nine depression criteria listed in the DSM-IV, and scores range from 0 to 27. Cutpoints of 5, 10, 15, and 20 represent the thresholds for mild, moderate, moderately severe, and severe depression.

Pfizer Inc. owns the copyright to the PHQ-9 and makes it available to clinicians at no cost.

The PHQ-9 is posted online at<www.pfizer.com/phq-9/>.

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