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J Korean Med Sci. 2016 Dec;31(12):2002-2009. doi: 10.3346/jkms.2016.31.12.2002.

Do Somatic Symptoms Predict the Severity of Depression? A Validation Study of the Korean Version of the Depression and Somatic Symptoms Scale.

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Department of Psychiatry, Korea University Ansan Hospital, Ansan, Korea.
Department of Psychiatry, Korea University Ansan Hospital, Ansan, Korea.
Department of Psychiatry, Korea University Guro Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Psychiatry, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Chang Gung University College of Medicine, Taoyuan, Taiwan.


This study aimed at exploring the psychometric characteristics of the Korean Version of the Depression and Somatic Symptoms Scale (DSSS) in a clinical sample, and investigating the impact of somatic symptoms on the severity of depression. Participants were 203 consecutive outpatients with current major depressive disorders (MDD) or lifetime diagnosis of MDD. The DSSS was compared with the Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) and the 17-items Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAMD). The DSSS showed a two-factor structure that accounted for 56.8% of the variance, as well as excellent internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha = 0.95), concurrent validity (r = 0.44-0.82), and temporal stability (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.79). The DSSS had a high ability to identify patients in non-remission (area under receiver operating characteristic [ROC] curve = 0.887). Maximal discrimination between remission and non-full remission was obtained at a cut-off score of 22 (sensitivity = 82.1%, specificity = 81.4%). The number of somatic symptoms (the range of somatic symptoms) and the scores on the somatic subscale (SS, the severity of somatic symptoms) in non-remission patients were greater than those in remission patients. The number of somatic symptoms (slope = 0.148) and the SS score (slope = 0.472) were confirmed as excellent predictors of the depression severity as indicated by the MADRS scores. The findings indicate that the DSSS is a useful tool for simultaneously, rapidly, and accurately measuring depression and somatic symptoms in clinical practice settings and in consultation fields.


Cut-off Score; Depression; Depression and Somatic Symptoms Scale; Psychometrics; Somatic Symptoms; Validation

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