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Which DSM validated tools for diagnosing depression are usable in primary care research? A systematic literature review

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 March 2020

P. Nabbe*
Department of general practice, université de Bretagne Occidentale, ERCR SPURBO, Brest, France
J.Y. Le Reste*
Department of general practice, université de Bretagne Occidentale, ERCR SPURBO, Brest, France
M. Guillou-Landreat
Department of addictology, université de Bretagne Occidentale, ERCR SPURBO, Brest, France
M.A. Munoz Perez
IDIAP jordi GOL unitat de support a la recerca, Barcelona, Spain
S. Argyriadou
The Greek Association of General Practitioners (ELEGEIA), Thessaloniki, Greece
A. Claveria
Galician National Health Service, Universidad de Vigo, Rúa Oporta, 1, 36201Vigo, Spain
M.I. Fernández San Martín
IDIAP jordi GOL unitat de support a la recerca, Barcelona, Spain
S. Czachowski
Department of Family Doctor, University Nicolaus Copernicus, Torun, Poland
H. Lingner
Centre for public health and healthcare, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany
C. Lygidakis
Associazione Italiana Medici di Famiglia (AIMEF), Bologna, Italy
A. Sowinska
Department of English, Nicolaus Copernicus University, Torun, Poland
B. Chiron
Department of general practice, université de Bretagne Occidentale, ERCR SPURBO, Brest, France
J. Derriennic
Department of general practice, université de Bretagne Occidentale, ERCR SPURBO, Brest, France
A. Le Prielec
Department of general practice, université de Bretagne Occidentale, ERCR SPURBO, Brest, France
B. Le Floch
Department of general practice, université de Bretagne Occidentale, ERCR SPURBO, Brest, France
T. Montier
Unite Inserm 1078, SFR 148 ScInBioS, faculté de médecine, université de Bretagne Occidentale, université européenne de Bretagne 22, avenue Camille-Desmoulins, 29238Brest cedex 2, France
H. Van Marwijk
Primary care research center, Williamson building, Oxford Road, Manchester, United Kingdom
P. Van Royen
Department of Primary and Interdisciplinary Care, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiteit Antwerpen, Antwerpen, Belgium
*Corresponding author. Tel.: +33 6 07 63 14 90.
**Co-corresponding author. E-mail (P. Nabbe), (J.Y. Le Reste).
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Depression occurs frequently in primary care. Its broad clinical variability makes it difficult to diagnose. This makes it essential that family practitioner (FP) researchers have validated tools to minimize bias in studies of everyday practice. Which tools validated against psychiatric examination, according to the major depression criteria of DSM-IV or 5, can be used for research purposes?


An international FP team conducted a systematic review using the following databases: Pubmed, Cochrane and Embase, from 2000/01/01 to 2015/10/01.


The three databases search identified 770 abstracts: 546 abstracts were analyzed after duplicates had been removed (224 duplicates); 50 of the validity studies were eligible and 4 studies were included. In 4 studies, the following tools were found: GDS-5, GDS-15, GDS-30, CESD-R, HADS, PSC-51 and HSCL-25. Sensitivity, Specificity, Positive Predictive Value, Negative Predictive Value were collected. The Youden index was calculated.


Using efficiency data alone to compare these studies could be misleading. Additional reliability, reproducibility and ergonomic data will be essential for making comparisons.


This study selected seven tools, usable in primary care research, for the diagnosis of depression. In order to define the best tools in terms of efficiency, reproducibility, reliability and ergonomics for research in primary care, and for care itself, further research will be essential.

Copyright © Elsevier Masson SAS 2017

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Abbreviations: COSMIN, Consensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement Instruments, DSM, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, EGPRN, European General Practice Research Network, IMRaD, Introduction, Methods, Results, and Discussion, FP, Family Practitioner, NPV, Negative Predictive Value, PPV, Predictive Positive Value, PRISMA, Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses, Se, Sensibility, Sp, Specificity


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Which DSM validated tools for diagnosing depression are usable in primary care research? A systematic literature review
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