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J Affect Disord. 2007 Apr;99(1-3):259-64. Epub 2006 Oct 20.

The development of the Brief Edinburgh Depression Scale (BEDS) to screen for depression in patients with advanced cancer.

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Academic Palliative and Supportive Care Studies Group, Division of Primary Care, School of population, community and behavioural sciences, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, L69 3GB.



The development of a brief valid tool to screen for depression in patients with advanced cancer is important. This paper reports data on the psychometric properties of the Brief Edinburgh Depression Scale.


Two hundred and forty six patients who fulfilled the inclusion criteria completed the 10-item EDS and Present State Examination.


Factor extraction revealed 6 items from the ten item EDS. The most valid cut off for defining a case, using the PSE diagnosis as the "gold-standard", was a score of 6 out of 18 on the Brief Edinburgh Depression Scale which gave a sensitivity of 72% and specificity of 83% with a PPV of 65.1% and NPV of 87.1%.


The six item EDS is a brief and sensitive method of screening for depression in advanced cancer patients--this novel use of the Edinburgh depression scale may have a significant impact on the assessment and thus management of this distressing symptom.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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