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Innov Clin Neurosci. 2016 Oct 1;13(9-10):20-31. eCollection 2016 Sep-Oct.

The Depression Inventory Development Workgroup: A Collaborative, Empirically Driven Initiative to Develop a New Assessment Tool for Major Depressive Disorder.

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Dr. Vaccarino is with Indoc Research, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Dr. Evans is with Indoc Research, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada; Dr. Kalali is with Quintiles Inc, San Diego, California, USA, and Department of Psychiatry, University of California, San Diego, California, USA; Drs. Kennedy and Placenza are with University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Dr. Engelhardt is with Cronos Clinical Consulting Services, Lambertville, New Jersey, USA; Dr. Frey is with Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and Mood Disorders Program and Women's Health Concerns Clinic, St. Joseph's Healthcare, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; Dr. Greist is with Department of Psychiatry, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Dr. Kobak is with Center for Telepsychology, Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Dr. Lam is with Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; Dr. MacQueen is with Mathison Centre for Mental Health Research and Education, Department of Psychiatry, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada; Dr. Milev is with Department of Psychiatry, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada; Dr. Ravindran is with Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and Campbell Family Mental Health Research Institute, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Dr. Sheehan is with Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health, University of South Florida College of Medicine, Tampa, Florida, USA; Dr. Sills was with OCBN, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Dr. Williams is with Columbia University, New York, New York, USA, and Medavante Inc., Trenton, New Jersey, USA.


The Depression Inventory Development project is an initiative of the International Society for CNS Drug Development whose goal is to develop a comprehensive and psychometrically sound measurement tool to be utilized as a primary endpoint in clinical trials for major depressive disorder. Using an iterative process between field testing and psychometric analysis and drawing upon expertise of international researchers in depression, the Depression Inventory Development team has established an empirically driven and collaborative protocol for the creation of items to assess symptoms in major depressive disorder. Depression-relevant symptom clusters were identified based on expert clinical and patient input. In addition, as an aid for symptom identification and item construction, the psychometric properties of existing clinical scales (assessing depression and related indications) were evaluated using blinded datasets from pharmaceutical antidepressant drug trials. A series of field tests in patients with major depressive disorder provided the team with data to inform the iterative process of scale development. We report here an overview of the Depression Inventory Development initiative, including results of the third iteration of items assessing symptoms related to anhedonia, cognition, fatigue, general malaise, motivation, anxiety, negative thinking, pain and appetite. The strategies adopted from the Depression Inventory Development program, as an empirically driven and collaborative process for scale development, have provided the foundation to develop and validate measurement tools in other therapeutic areas as well.


Major depressive disorder; depressive symptoms; item response theory; rating scales


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