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Anxiety and depression can be heightened among individuals living with chronic diseases. Identifying these individuals is necessary for ensuring they are provided with adequate support. Traditional tools such as clinical interviews or symptom checklists are not always feasible to implement in practice. Robust single-item questions may be a useful alternative. This study aimed to measure agreement, sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value of a single-item question about anxiety and depression compared to the widely used Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). A cross-sectional survey of 2,811 people with cancer attending 19 treatment centres in Australia. Patients were approached in the waiting room prior to an outpatient clinic appointment and invited to complete a pen and paper survey. Participants completed the HADS as well as 2 single-items asking if they have felt anxious or depressed in the last week. The single-items for anxiety and depression each demonstrated moderate levels of sensitivity (0.78 for anxiety; 0.63 for depression) and specificity (0.75 for anxiety; 0.84 for depression) against the relevant HADS subscale. Positive predictive values were moderate (0.53 for anxiety and 0.52 for depression) while negative predictive values were high for both single-item questions (0.90 for anxiety and 0.89 for depression). The single-item measures of anxiety and depression may be useful to rule out individuals who do not require further psychological assessment or intervention for anxiety and depression. Further research is needed to explore whether these findings generalise to other chronic diseases.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: PloS one
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