|Description:||The SDS is a 20-item, self-rated scale that assesses the severity of depressive symptoms that a patient has experienced during the past week.|
|Disease States:||Major depressive disorder|
|Validated Uses:||Screening, Treatment Monitoring & Evaluation, Symptom Severity|
|Populations:||Adolescent, Adult, Geriatric|
|Time to administer:||5–15 minutes|
|Commonly used in:||Clinical Trials & Research, Clinical Practice|
|Detailed Description:||The SDS is a 20-item scale that assesses the severity of depressive symptoms that a patient has experienced during the past week.1-3,6 Ten items rate negative experiences or feelings (eg, “I get tired for no reason”), and 10 items rate positive experiences or feelings (eg, “My life is pretty full”).4,6 The patient rates each item according to frequency, with options including “none or a little of the time,” “some of the time,” “good part of the time,” or “most of the time”.2,3 These ratings are then assigned a score from 1–4, with higher scores indicating a higher severity of depressive symptoms.3,4 For example, for items describing a negative experience (eg, “I get tired for no reason”), a response of “most of the time” would be scored as 4 points.3,6On the other hand, for items describing a positive experience (eg, “My life is pretty full”), a response of “most of the time” would be scored as 1 point.3,6 Once determined, the individual item scores are added together to generate a raw score ranging from 20 to 80.4,5 The raw score is then multiplied by 1.25 to convert it to an index score out of 100 [raw score * 1.25 = index score].5 The recommended cutoff score for identifying patients with major depressive disorder is an index score of 50.4-6|
|Scale Validity:||In a study of 148 adult patients receiving treatment for depressive symptoms, the SDS demonstrated 93% sensitivity and 69% specificity when a cutoff of 50 was applied to the index score.6|
|Alternative Versions:||A companion, clinician-rated version of the SDS called the Depression Status Inventory also exists and contains the same 20 items as the SDS.1,2,4†|
|Cited Limitations:||The SDS may not be comprehensive, as it does not include items that cover psychomotor retardation or atypical features of depression (eg, increased appetite, weight gain, or hypersomnia).1 The conversion of a raw score to an index score has also caused some confusion, with the recommended cutoff score being mistakenly applied to the raw score rather than the index score by some researchers.5|
†Although only the SDS is provided here, we include information about alternative versions for your general awareness and convenience. These alternative versions may be used by different practitioners or in clinical trial or research settings.
Supporting references for the filters are as follows:
Disease States: Major depressive disorder1-3; Validated Uses: Screening1,4,5, Treatment Monitoring & Evaluation2-4, Symptom Severity1,4; Populations: Adolescents4, Adult4,6, Geriatric7; Administration Method: Self-report3,4; Time to Administer: 5–15 minutes1,4; Commonly used in: Clinical Trials & Research5, Clinical Practice1,8
- Rush, AJ et al. Handbook of Psychiatric Measures. (American Psychiatric Publishing, Inc., 2008).
- Guy, W. ECDEU Assessment Manual for Psychopharmacology. 1976. Education U.S. Department of Health, and Welfare. Rockville, MD.
- Zung, WW. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1965;12:63-70.
- Lam, R et al. Assessment Scales in Depression, Mania and Anxiety. (Taylor & Francis Group, 2005).
- Dunstan, DA & Scott, N. BMC Psychiatry. 2019;19(1):177.
- Dunstan, DA et al. BMC Psychiatry. 2017;17(1):329.
- Jokelainen, J et al. Scand J Prim Health Care. 2019;37(3):353-357.
- Romera, I et al. BMC Psychiatry. 2008;8:4.