PHQ-9 (Patient Health Questionnaire-9)

The Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) is used to screen for depression and provides an assessment of the severity of depression. The questionnaire is a module of other health questionnaires developed for psychological assessment. The items are based on the diagnostic criteria of the DSM IV («Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders»).

Little interest or pleasure in doing things
Feeling down, depressed, or hopeless
Trouble falling or staying asleep, or sleeping too much
Feeling tired or having little energy
Poor appetite or overeating
Feeling bad about yourself – or that you’re a failure or have let yourself or your family down
Trouble concentrating on things, such as reading the newspaper or watching television
Moving or speaking so slowly that other people could have noticed. Or, the opposite – being so fidgety or restless that you have been moving around a lot more than usual
Thoughts that you would be better off dead or of hurting yourself in some way

PHQ-9 Score:

The patient expresses suicidal or self-harming thoughts. Immediate psychiatric evaluation is strongly recommended.

Score Interpretation
≤ 4 No or minimal depressive disorder
5-9 Mild depressive disorder
10–14 Moderate depressive disorder
15–19 Moderately severe depressive disorder
≥ 20 Severe depressive disorder
  1. Kroenke K, Spitzer RL, Williams JB. The PHQ-9: validity of a brief depression severity measure. J Gen Intern Med. 2001;16(9):606-613. doi:10.1046/j.1525-1497.2001.016009606.x
  2. Arroll B, Goodyear-Smith F, Crengle S, et al. Validation of PHQ-2 and PHQ-9 to screen for major depression in the primary care population. Ann Fam Med. 2010;8(4):348-353. doi:10.1370/afm.1139
  3. Löwe B, Spitzer RL, Zipfel S, Herzog W. PHQ-D, Gesundheitsfragebogen für Patienten, Manual. Medizinische Universitätsklinik Heidelberg 2002;1–11.

This page as PDF