Why was the PHQ-9 the selected tool for the Depression measure?
MNCM is frequently asked “Why just the PHQ-9 tool?” In response, the workgroup considered 21 Patient Reported Outcome (PRO) tools. Information on each was collected using standardized criteria and compiled for review. Many tools did not have the required cut-points for remission or scoring levels that address severity of depression symptoms. Many of the tools listed were acceptable for screening for potential depression but did not support the diagnosis of depression or measuring progress of symptoms (outcomes) over time. Ultimately, the workgroup reached consensus on adding only the PHQ-9M tool.
The workgroup decided to allow the use of both tools (PHQ-9 and PHQ-9M) and not restrict tool use by age. They believed it was best to leave the decision up to the medical groups in terms of which tool best fits their practice (e.g., a pediatric practice could use the PHQ-9M for all their patients including “older” patients and a family practice clinic could use the PHQ-9 for all their patients ages 12 and older).