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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887


SALDIVIA, Sandra et al. Psychometric characteristics of the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2019, vol.147, n.1, pp.53-60. ISSN 0034-9887.


Simple and brief questionnaires with adequate psychometric properties are useful for the early detection of depressive disorders.


To analyze the psychometric behavior of the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) in Chile.

Material and Methods:

Data were collected from 1,738 adult patients, consulting in primary health care centers. The values obtained in the PHQ-9 were compared with those of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI).


The mean score of PHQ-9 was 4.85 ± 5.57. Internal consistency indices were high. McDonald's ω coefficient of was 0.90 and Cronbach alpha 0.89. A confirmatory factor analysis showed a good fit of the one-dimensional model. Using a cutoff score of seven determined with the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve, the sensitivity and specificity of the instrument were 0.8 and 0.7, when compared with CIDI diagnoses.


PHQ-9 is a useful instrument for the screening of depressive disorders in primary health care centers in Chile.

Keywords : Depression; Patient Health Questionnaire; Primary Health Care; Sensitivity and Specificity.

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