Validity, reliability and cut-offs of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 as a screening tool for depression among patients living with epilepsy in Rwanda.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

BACKGROUND: Patients with epilepsy (PwE) have an increased risk of active and lifetime depression. Two in 10 patients experience depression. Lack of trained psychiatric staff in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) creates a need for screening tools that enable detection of depression in PwE. We describe the translation, validity and reliability assessment of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) as a screening tool for depression among PwE in Rwanda. METHOD: PHQ-9 was translated to Kinyarwanda using translation-back translation and validated by a discussion group. For validation, PwE of ≥15 years of age were administered the PHQ-9 and Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS) by trained psychiatry staff at Visit 1. A random sample of 20% repeated PHQ-9 and HDRS after 14 days to assess temporal stability and intra-rater reliability. Internal structure, reliability and external validity were assessed using confirmatory factor analysis, reliability coefficients and HDRS-correlation, respectively. Maximal Youden's index was considered for cut-offs. RESULTS: Four hundred and thirty-four PwE, mean age 30.5 years (SD ±13.3), were included of whom 33.6%, 37.9%, 13.4%, and 15.1% had no, mild, moderate and severe depression, respectively. PHQ-9 performed well on a one-factor model (unidimensional model), with factor loadings of 0.63-0.86. Reliability coefficients above 0.80 indicated strong internal consistency. Good temporal stability was observed (0.79 [95% CI: 0.68-0.87]). A strong correlation (R = 0.66, p = 0.01) between PHQ-9 and HDRS summed scores demonstrated robust external validity. The optimal cut-off for the PHQ-9 was similar (≥5) for mild and moderate depression and ≥7 for severe depression. CONCLUSION: PHQ-9 validation in Kinyarwanda creates the capacity to screen PwE in Rwanda at scores of ≥5 for mild or moderate and ≥7 for severe depression. The availability of validated tools for screening and diagnosis for depression is a forward step for holistic care in a resource-limited environment.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Sebera, F; Vissoci, JRN; Umwiringirwa, J; Teuwen, DE; Boon, PE; Dedeken, P

Published Date

  • 2020

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 15 / 6

Start / End Page

  • e0234095 -

PubMed ID

  • 32530968

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC7292570

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1932-6203

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1371/journal.pone.0234095


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States