Which depression measure is best?

“In the systematic review of 450 clinical trials on unipolar & bipolar depression, we identify 388 outcomes & compares their performance. Which measure performs best?”

Eiko Fried reports:

“A new paper published today in Lancet Psychiatry, led by Christopher Veal, reports findings from a systemic review of 450 clinical trials for unipolar and bipolar depression. Our results can be seen as trying to answer one of the oldest questions in the field of depression measurement: which of the over 200 measures is the best?

I want to thank the principal investigator Dr. Astrid Chevance for the fantastic work, and all the researchers and folks with lived experiences who helped with the study. Below, I briefly provide the rationale for the study, and then summarize the results.

1. Background

Depression affects millions globally and is one of the leading causes of disability. The efficacy of interventions like psycho- and pharmacotherapies is typically assessed through randomized controlled trials (RCTs) via so-called outcome measures: information we want to know to determine if patients improved. As we have highlighted in a recent review paper on theoretical and statistical challenges in depression measurement published in Nature Reviews Psychology (PDF), depression is measured in all sorts of different ways, which raises all sorts of questions. For example, do all these different measures for depression (at least 280!) actually measure the same construct? And do the differences between depression measures stand in the way of cumulative science? After all, it’s difficult to compare the results of studies if they used different measurements …”

You can read more from here.

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