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Resources for the Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment based
Proactive and Personalised Primary Care of the Elderly


Patient Health Questionnaire 9

Purpose : Tool for reaching a tentative diagnosis of depression and assessment of its severity.

PHQ-9 is not a screening tool for depression but it is used to monitor the severity of depression and response to treatment. However, it can be used to make a tentative diagnosis of depression.

Admin time :  15-20 min

User Friendly :  High

Administered by : Healthcare provider or self-administered


Content : The PHQ-9 scores each of the nine DSM-IV criteria as "0" (not at all) to "3" (nearly every day)..

The patient self-reports depression-associated symptoms according to their frequency in the past 2 weeks.

The score is calculated by summing the response values for each of the 9 questions.


Author :  Kroenke K et al,1999

Copyright : Free to use

The copyright for the PHQ-9 was formerly held with Pfizer, who provided the educational grant for Drs Spitzer, Williams and Kroenke who originally designed it. This is no longer the case and no permission is required to reproduce, translate, display or distribute the PHQ-9.

Translation : Available in several languages : access


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PHQ-9 - online




  • Free to use

  • Available in several languages
  • Relatively brief
  • Validity against the DSM-IV diagnosis of major depression, reliability, and feasibility of PHQ-9 is excellent


  • ​high sensitivity and moderate specificity to identify possible cases of depression when used at a threshold of mild depression or greater

Accuracy : 

sensitivity 88% , and specificity 88% (Kroenke K, 2001)

This Tool is used in Depression

Back To : Depression

Depression is one of 4 sub-domains of the  

Psychological Assessment

Back To : Psychological Assessment

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The Psychological Assessment is one of 8 domains of the

Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment (CGA)

Back To : Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment

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