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Symptom-oriented recording of depressive stress

Development of a questionnaire inventory for the symptom-oriented recording of depressive stress

In clinical psychology, many different questionnaires have been used so far to record depressive stress, but in their evaluation the individualareas of behavior and experience that can occur during depressive episodes are no longer considered separately. In most cases, a single value is formed to reflect the extent of depressive stress.

The procedure can be illustrated by a simple example:

Let us assume that a questionnaire consists of 4 questions and, in addition to experienced sleep disorders and concentration disorders, also records the subjective feeling of sadness and thoughts of suicide. On a scale from 0 (never) to 5 (every day), a person interviewed evaluates how frequently they have experienced these symptoms in the last 14 days.

Person A gives the following assessment:

  • Sleep disorders: 1
  • Concentration disorders: 2
  • Sadness: 4
  • Suicidality: 3

Sum value: 10

Person B gives the following assessment:

  • Sleep disorders: 4
  • Concentration disorders: 4
  • Sadness: 1
  • Suicidality: 1

Sum value: 10

Even if the sum value is the same for both persons, it has a completely different composition and is a mixture of different symptoms. From a clinical perspective, however, it is necessary to take appropriate account of the specificity of the various symptom areas in depression diagnosticsand to develop questionnaires that reliably capture individual symptom areas.

The aim of the BIDS study is the development of such a questionnaire procedure, which is freely available and represents and captures different symptoms with several items.


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Heinrich, M., Zagorscak, P., Eid, M., & Knaevelsrud, C. (2018). Giving G a Meaning: An Application of the Bifactor-(S-1) Approach to Realize a More Symptom-Oriented Modeling of the Beck Depression Inventory–II. Assessment, doi: 1073191118803738.