Luciano JV, Ayuso-Mateos JL, Fernandez A, Aguado J, Serrano-Blanco A, Roca M, Haro JM. Utility of the twelve-item World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule II (WHO-DAS II) for discriminating depression "caseness" and severity in Spanish primary care patients. Qual Life Res. 2010 May;19(1):97-101.

PURPOSE: The 12-item WHO-DAS II was developed to assess the activity limitations and participation restrictions experienced by individuals irrespective of medical diagnosis. In this paper we examine the known-groups' validity of the instrument by evaluating its ability to discriminate between patients with/without major depression, patients with depression with/without medical comorbidity, and patients with depression with different depression severity.

METHOD: The participants were 3,615 PC patients from 17 regions of Spain, with a first-time diagnosis of major depressive episode according to the general practitioner. The 12-item WHO-DAS II, the PHQ-9, and a chronic medical conditions checklist were administered during the consultation.

RESULTS: The statistical analyses indicated that the 12-item WHO-DAS II was able to discriminate between patients with/without depression and between those with different depression severity. The ROC analysis revealed that with a cutoff score >or=50, the instrument correctly classified 70.4% of the sample (area under the ROC curve = .76; sensitivity = 71.4%; specificity = 67.6%).

CONCLUSIONS: Overall, our results support the discriminant validity of the 12-item WHO-DAS II for major depression, being quite recommendable its use in epidemiological research.

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