Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Front Psychiatry. 2018 Aug 23;9:390. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00390. eCollection 2018.

Stability of the Distribution of Patient Health Questionnaire-9 Scores Against Age in the General Population: Data From the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

Author information

1
Department of Mental Health Panasonic Health Center, Tokyo, Japan.
2
Department of Health Promotion and Human Behavior, Kyoto University Graduate School of Medicine School of Public Health, Kyoto, Japan.
3
Clinical Research Center, Chiba University Hospital, Chiba, Japan.
4
Department of Pharmacoepidemiology, Graduate School of Medicine and Public Health, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan.
5
Center for the Promotion of Interdisciplinary Education and Research Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan.
6
Department of Drug Evaluation and Informatics, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Shizuoka, Shizuoka, Japan.
7
Center for the Development of Cognitive Behavior Therapy Training, Tokyo, Japan.

Abstract

Background: Epidemiological studies using the nine-item Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) have reported inconsistencies regarding the relationship between age and total scores. To determine whether this discrepancy is due to the stability of the distribution of PHQ-9 total scores against age, we investigated whether the total score distribution remains stable during adulthood, and also investigated the mathematical patterns of the total score distribution. Methods: The present study utilized data from 15,847 participants of the 2009-2014 United States National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, all of whom responded to all PHQ-9 items. The stability of the total score distribution among different age groups was examined using overlap coefficients and graphical analysis. Results: High overlap coefficients were observed between all age groups for the distributions of PHQ-9 total scores, suggesting that the distribution of PHQ-9 total scores remains stable against age. Graphical analysis demonstrated that distributions of PHQ-9 total scores were similar across age groups. In addition, distributions of PHQ-9 total scores exhibited an exponential pattern, except at the lower end of the distribution. Conclusions: Our findings indicate that the stability of the distribution of PHQ-9 total scores throughout adulthood may underlie inconsistencies in the evidence regarding age-related changes in total depression scores.

KEYWORDS:

National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey; Patient Health Questionnaire-9; age; depressive symptoms; exponential distribution; overlap coefficients

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Frontiers Media SA Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center