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



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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