A Comparison of Three Brief Depression Measures in an Acute Psychiatric Population: CES-D-10, QIDS-SR, and DASS-21-DEP

Rachel B. Weiss, Idan M. Aderka, Josephine Lee, Courtney Beard, Thröstur Björgvinsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The CES-D-10, QIDS-SR, and DASS-21-DEP are brief self-report instruments for depression that have demonstrated strong psychometric properties in clinical and community samples. However, it is unclear whether any of the three instruments is superior for assessing depression and treatment response in an acute, diagnostically heterogeneous, treatment-seeking psychiatric population. The present study examined the relative psychometric properties of these instruments in order to inform selection of an optimal depression measure in 377 patients enrolled in a psychiatric partial hospital program. Results indicated that the three measures demonstrated good to excellent internal consistency and strong convergent validity. They also demonstrated fair to good diagnostic utility, although diagnostic cut-off scores were generally higher than in previous samples. The three measures also evidenced high sensitivity to change in depressive symptoms over treatment, with the QIDS-SR showing the strongest effect. The results of this study indicate that any of the three depression measures may satisfactorily assess depressive symptoms in an acute psychiatric population. Thus, selection of a specific assessment tool should be guided by the identified purpose of the assessment. In a partial hospital setting, the QIDS-SR may confer some advantages, such as correspondence with DSM criteria, greater sensitivity to change, and assessment of suicidality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-230
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment
Issue number2
StatePublished - 16 Jun 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


  • Assessment
  • Center for the epidemiological studies of depression-short form
  • Depression
  • Depression anxiety and stress scales-21-item version
  • Psychometric
  • Quick inventory of depressive symptomatology-self-report version

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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