Screening & Measurement

Screening for depression and other behavioral health conditions and measuring symptom severity at enrollment and throughout treatment is one of the key components of effective Collaborative Care. The link below provides information about the validity and reliability of the PHQ-9 and other tools used to screen and measure treatment outcomes for common mental health conditions treated in primary care.

What is the PHQ-2?

Some clinicians and organizations use the first two items of the PHQ-9 as an initial depression screening. If the patient responds affirmatively to either of these two items, the remaining 7 items are asked. This can be an efficient way to screen large groups of patients to improve detection of undiagnosed depression.

Li, MM, Friedman, B, Conwell, Y, Fiscella, K. Validity of the Patient Health Questionnaire 2 (PGQ-2) in Identifying Major Depression in Older People. Journal of the American Geriatric Society. 2007; 55:596-602

What is the PHQ-9?

The PHQ-9 is the nine item depression scale of the Patient Health Questionnaire*. It can be a powerful tool to assist clinicians with diagnosing depression and monitoring treatment response. The nine items of the PHQ-9 are based directly on the nine diagnostic criteria for major depressive disorder in the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Fourth Edition). This can help track a patients overall depression severity as well as the specific symptoms that are improving or not with treatment.

How to Administer the PHQ-9, Advantages of the PHQ-9 and resources such as video demonstrations, visual aids, and additional languages can be found on the main PHQ-9 Page

Other PHQ-9 Resources:


*The PHQ-9 is adapted from PRIME MD TODAY®, developed by Drs. Robert L. Spitzer, Janet B.W. Williams, Kurt Kroenke, and colleagues with an educational grant from Pfizer Inc. For research information, contact Dr. Spitzer at The names PRIME-MD® and PRIME MD TODAY® are trademarks of Pfizer, Inc.
PHQ © 1999 Pfizer Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduced with permission of Pfizer, Inc.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder Subscale (GAD-7):

The Generalized Anxiety Disorder subscale of the Patient Health Questionnaire (GAD-7) is a quick and easy tool to help identify patients with anxiety and monitor treatment response. The GAD-7 is available free for clinical use in a variety of languages at the link below.