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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Accuracy of anxiety and depression screening tools in heart transplant recipients.

  • Author(s): Conway, Aaron
  • Sheridan, Judith
  • Maddicks-Law, Joanne
  • Fulbrook, Paul
  • Ski, Chantal F
  • Thompson, David R
  • Doering, Lynn V
  • et al.

The aim of this study was to assess the validity and reliability of psychological screening tools in outpatient heart transplant recipients.Forty-eight heart transplant recipients completed the Patient Health Questionnaire 9-item scale (PHQ-9), Generalized Anxiety Disorder 7-item Scale (GAD-7), Kessler Psychological Distress 10-item Scale (K-10) and Medical Outcomes Short Form 36-item Health Survey. A structured psychological interview (Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview Version 6) was conducted after completion of the questionnaires. Internal consistency, criterion validity and construct validity of the PHQ-9, GAD-7 and K-10 were evaluated.Internal consistency supported the reliability of the screening tools. The optimal cut-off on the PHQ-9 for depression was 10 (sensitivity=0.86; specificity=0.93). A score of 6 on the GAD-7 maximized sensitivity (0.75) and specificity (0.89) for anxiety. A score of 17 on the K-10 was the optimal cut-off for diagnosis of either anxiety or depression (sensitivity=0.83; specificity=0.84). Increasing scores on the screening tools were associated with lower health-related quality of life.Psychometric analyses support the reliability and validity of the PHQ-9, GAD-7 and K-10 as screening tools for detection of anxiety and depression in heart transplant recipients.

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