Validity of self-reports of medication treatment of depression in general population surveys

Ramin Mojtabai, Masoumeh Amin-Esmaeili

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: To assess the concurrent validity of a single question on medication use for depression in a general population survey. Methods: Using data from 2015 to 2016 and 2017 to 2018 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, we compared responses to a single question on medication use for depression with responses to a detailed questionnaire confirmed by inspecting medication packages or pharmacy printouts. Results: There was a strong agreement (96.4%) between response to a single question about using medication for depression and responses to questions about using antidepressants or other psychiatric medications for depression on the detailed questionnaire. The single-question assessment had excellent sensitivity (93.8%) and specificity (96.7%), positive predictive value (71.5%), and kappa (0.79). Psychometric properties were mostly consistent across population subgroups. Conclusions: Single-question assessments of medication use for depression have acceptable concurrent validity against more detailed assessments and provide an efficient method for assessing medication treatment of depression in population health surveys.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPharmacoepidemiology and Drug Safety
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • antidepressant agents
  • health surveys
  • major depressive disorder
  • psychometric
  • selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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