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Depression is highly prevalent in advanced cancer patients, but the diagnosis of depressive disorder in patients with advanced cancer is difficult. Screening instruments could facilitate diagnosing depressive disorder in patients with advanced cancer. The aim of this study was to determine the validity of the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II) and a single screening question as screening tools for depressive disorder in advanced cancer patients.
Patients with advanced metastatic disease, visiting the outpatient palliative care department, were asked to fill out a self-questionnaire containing the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-II) and a single screening question "Are you feeling depressed?" The mood section of the PRIME-MD was used as a gold standard.
Sixty-one patients with advanced metastatic disease were eligible to be included in the study. Complete data were obtained from 46 patients. The area under the curve of the receiver operating characteristics analysis of the BDI-II was 0.82. The optimal cut-off point of the BDI-II was 16 with a sensitivity of 90% and a specificity of 69%. The single screening question showed a sensitivity of 50% and a specificity of 94%.
The BDI-II seems an adequate screening tool for a depressive disorder in advanced cancer patients. The sensitivity of a single screening question is poor.
Department of Anesthesiology, Pain and Palliative Medicine, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Huispost 630, P.O. Box 9101, 6500 HB, Nijmegen, The Netherlands, firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Supportive care in cancer : official journal of the Multinational Association of Supportive Care in Cancer
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A psychological test consisting of true/false items. It is used as a diagnostic screening or clinical assessment of adults who evidence problematic emotional and interpersonal symptoms or who are undergoing PSYCHOTHERAPY or a psychodiagnostic evaluation.
Testing or screening required by federal, state, or local law or other agencies for the diagnosis of specified conditions. It is usually limited to specific populations such as categories of health care providers, members of the military, and prisoners or to specific situations such as premarital examinations or donor screening.
Examination of urine by chemical, physical, or microscopic means. Routine urinalysis usually includes performing chemical screening tests, determining specific gravity, observing any unusual color or odor, screening for bacteriuria, and examining the sediment microscopically.
Measures for assessing the results of diagnostic and screening tests. Sensitivity represents the proportion of truly diseased persons in a screened population who are identified as being diseased by the test. It is a measure of the probability of correctly diagnosing a condition. Specificity is the proportion of truly nondiseased persons who are so identified by the screening test. It is a measure of the probability of correctly identifying a nondiseased person. (From Last, Dictionary of Epidemiology, 2d ed)
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