Using the distress thermometer and hospital anxiety and depression scale to screen for psychosocial morbidity in patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer

Deepa Patel, Louise Sharpe, Belinda Thewes, Melanie L Bell, Stephen Clarke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The Distress Thermometer (DT) and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) are commonly used within oncology settings. However there is a paucity of research comparing these measures to gold standard structured clinical interviews assessing for clinical disorders. The aim of this study is to establish the sensitivity, specificity and optimal cut-off scores on these measures when compared to a clinical interview. Method: Ninety-nine patients with colorectal cancer completed the DT and HADS and a psychologist-administered gold standard structured clinical interview (the Composite International Diagnostic Interview-CIDI). Receiver Operator Characteristic analyses (ROC) were conducted to establish the optimal cut-off score on the DT and HADS to identify clinical disorders based on the CIDI. Results: Seventeen patients met criteria for a clinical disorder in the sample. A cut-off score of 4 on the DT indicated acceptable sensitivity (60%) and specificity (67%) to detect a current clinical disorder, while the optimal cut-off for the HADS was 10 (sensitivity = 73%, specificity = 72%). The area under the ROC values were 0.66 for the DT (95% CI: 0.51, 0.82) and 0.78 for the HADS (95% CI: 0.67, 0.90). The difference in AUC between the two measures was not statistically significant. Limitations: The limitations to the design and methodology of the study are discussed. Conclusion: The single item DT performed fairly, however not as well as the longer HADS in identifying clinical disorders amongst oncology patients, particularly anxiety disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)412-416
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume131
Issue number1-3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Thermometers
Colorectal Neoplasms
Anxiety
Depression
Morbidity
Interviews
Sensitivity and Specificity
Anxiety Disorders
Area Under Curve
Psychology
Research

Keywords

  • Anxiety
  • Cancer
  • Depression
  • Distress thermometer
  • Psychological disorder
  • Screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology

Cite this

Using the distress thermometer and hospital anxiety and depression scale to screen for psychosocial morbidity in patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer. / Patel, Deepa; Sharpe, Louise; Thewes, Belinda; Bell, Melanie L; Clarke, Stephen.

In: Journal of Affective Disorders, Vol. 131, No. 1-3, 06.2011, p. 412-416.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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