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Psychiatry Res. 1998 Nov 16;81(2):259-68.

Validity of the shortened Mood and Feelings Questionnaire in a community sample of children and adolescents: a preliminary research note.

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Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, University of Manchester, Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, Pendlebury, UK.


The Mood and Feelings Questionnaire (MFQ) was designed to detect clinical depression in children and adolescents. Our aim was to investigate the relationship between symptom scores obtained using the short-version MFQ and psychiatric disorders in a non-clinical sample. Seventy-eight parents and 71 twins, who had completed the MFQ, were interviewed separately using a semistructured diagnostic interview, the Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Assessment. Parent-rated MFQ scores (MFQ-P) were found to distinguish those with ICD-10 (point biserial correlation = 0.345) and DSM-III-R depression (point biserial correlation = 0.369) from non-depressed cases. MFQ-P scores also differentiated depressed cases from those with 'other psychiatric diagnoses' (any anxiety disorder, oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder, hyperkinetic disorder/attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and adjustment disorder/post-traumatic disorder). The MFQ-P at the chosen cut-off point showed a sensitivity of 0.75 and specificity of 0.73 for an ICD-10 diagnosis of depression and a sensitivity of 0.86 and specificity of 0.87 for DSM-III-R depression. The number of self-rated reports (MFQ-C) was small, but overall the results suggest that self-rated MFQ scores may show less specificity. The MFQ-C at the selected cut-off point showed a sensitivity of 0.6 and specificity of 0.61 for ICD-10 depression, and a sensitivity of 0.75 and specificity of 0.74 for DSM-III-R depression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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