Relationship between daily rated depression symptom severity and the retrospective self-report on PHQ-9: A prospective ecological momentary assessment study on 80 psychiatric outpatients

Ilya Baryshnikov, Talayeh Aledavood, Tom Rosenström, Roope Heikkilä, Richard Darst, Kirsi Riihimäki, Outi Saleva, Jesper Ekelund, Erkki Isometsä

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
106 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background: Depression-related negative bias in emotional processing and memory may bias accuracy of recall of temporally distal symptoms. We tested the hypothesis that when responding to the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) the responses reflect more accurately temporally proximal than distal mood states. Methods: Currently, depressed psychiatric outpatients (N = 80) with depression confirmed in semi-structured interviews had the Aware application installed on their smartphones for ecological momentary assessment (EMA). The severity of “low mood”, “hopelessness”, “low energy”, “anhedonia”, and “wish to die” was assessed on a Likert scale five times daily during a 12-day period, and thereafter, the PHQ-9 questionnaire was completed. We used auto- and cross-correlation analyses and linear mixed-effects multilevel models (LMM) to investigate the effect of time lag on the association between EMA of depression symptoms and the PHQ-9. Results: Autocorrelations of the EMA of depressive symptom severity at two subsequent days were strong (r varying from 0.7 to 0.9; p < 0.001). “Low mood” was the least and “wish to die” the most temporally stable symptom. The correlations between EMA of depressive symptoms and total scores of the PHQ-9 were temporally stable (r from 0.3 to 0.6; p < 0.001). No effect of assessment time on the association between EMA data and the PHQ-9 emerged in the LMM. Limitations: Altogether 11.5 % of observations were missing. Conclusions: Despite fluctuations in severity of some of the depressive symptoms, patients with depression accurately recollect their most dominant symptoms, without a significant recall bias favouring the most recent days, when responding to the PHQ-9.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-174
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume324
Issue number1
Early online date28 Dec 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • Ecological momentary assessment
  • Depression
  • Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9)
  • Depressive symptoms

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