Background and Aim: Previous research shows that the Well-being Process Questionnaire (WPQ) has good content validity, construct validity, discriminant validity and reliability.The present research examined the diagnostic validity of the anxiety and depression questions from the WPQ by comparing them with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale (HADS) from which they were derived.
Methods: One hundred and twenty university staff members aged 20-64 participated in the study which involved an anonymous online survey. The data were used to assess the ability of single item measures, rated on a 10 point scale, to correctly identify a respondent that meets a diagnostic criteria, in this case clinical levels of depression or anxiety.
Results: This analysis involved comparison with an established measure (HADS clinical cut-off) in terms of the proportion of those with the condition correctly identified as such (sensitivity) by the single items and the proportion without the condition correctly identified as such (specificity) by the single items. The results showed that a cut-off point at a score of 5 provided the best results for sensitivity and specificity in the depression and anxiety items. Sensitivity at this point was 71.4% and 86.3% for depression and anxiety respectively, while specificity was 85.4% for depression and 72.6% for anxiety.
Conclusions: These findings confirm that the single item anxiety and depression questions from the WPQ can be used as an initial screening tool to identify clinical cases of anxiety and depression.
Relevance for patients: This will provide a rapid method of assessment that will benefit patients and lead to more effective prevention and management.
Centre for Occupational & Health Psychology, School of Psychology, Cardiff University, UK
Andrew P Smith
Centre for Occupational & Health Psychology, School of Psychology, Cardiff University, 63 Park Place, Cardiff, CF10 3AS, UK
Tel: +44 29 208 76574
Department of Experimental Surgery, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands