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BDI Questionnaires on Depression

Survey designs usually involve the administration of questionnaires, conducting interviews or written surveys to a population. The data obtained from a survey can be used to determine the similarities, differences and trends that can help the investigator make predictions about the population under study.

The two item health patient questionnaire is a reliable health screening instrument that can be used in all health care settings. It assesses frequency of anhedonia, that is, little interest or pleasure in doing things and the feeling of being depressed over a period of two weeks. It is scored on a scale of 0-3 and is categorized into 4 response categories; not at all, several days, more than half the days, and nearly every day. The BDI is a 21 question inventory that is used to measure symptoms of depression. The BDI has been re-invented over time to help assess symptoms of depression better. The questions are usually easy to understand and provide a fairly accurate view of how any person is feeling at the time they took the test.

When choosing the kind of assessment tool to use in assessing depression, it is important to consider the culture and ethnicity of the population. What might be considered as a sign of depression in one community may not necessarily apply to other communities. Research has shown that even though there are similarities in the expression of depression among various cultures, there exist significant differences. Measures such as the BDI and PHQ2 have been demonstrated to be applicable to various cultures across the world (Gotlib & Hammen, 2009).

When conducting a cost benefit analysis of any psychological assessment procedure among a culturally diverse population, the following concerns should be addressed: the amount of time required by the patient and assessor to take the test, potential risks that could be as a result of the assessment procedures, any ethical violations that could result from the assessment procedure, how the procedure could affect other parties such as family members, short term or long term benefits or liabilities associated with the procedure and the incremental utility of the measure (Gotlib & Hammen, 2009).

Cost benefit analysis helps to evaluate the overall gains of a particular policy. This is usually done by the government and other decision making institutions. Its analysis helps to determine whether the benefits of a particular policy outweigh its cost. However, it does not guarantee an increase in economic efficiency or an increase in social welfare. When assessing cost benefit analysis among diverse groups, it is necessary to ensure that when implementing an alternative policy to improve the situation of one group, the other groups’ situations are not damaged in the process (Boardman, 2006).

Quality of life refers to how one’s health might be impacted over time by a disease, a disability or a disorder. When assessing health related quality of life, certain measures can be used. For instance, an external rater can be used to assess physical abilities such as whether patients are able to perform their daily activities without help from others. Similarly, using the PHQ2, depression may be assessed among the various cultures over a period of time. This will help the assessor to keep track of any trends or patterns that may emerge with time.

Uncertainty remains on how to measure the quality of healthcare in clinical practice. However, it still remains that quality of life measures are the standard way of evaluating the results of health care interventions, and the means of prioritizing funding. It is important to accommodate the needs of diverse populations when measuring the quality of health care. The degree to which health care systems respond to this challenge is not satisfactory, as most experts would say. Responses are driven by funding incentives, and legal mandates as compared to the needs of diverse population consumers. The increased focus on ethnic and socio economic health disparities has resulted in policy changes that have directed more attention to minority health issues

Surveillance measures are described as the continuous, procedural collection, analysis and interpretation of health related data that is used in making of and amending health policies. This data can be used to aid in planning, implementation and evaluation of public health policies. This data when collected can also be used to predict future public health emergencies, analyze the impact of an intervention or track the progress towards specified objectives and to observe and clarify the trends of health related problems. This in turn helps to set priorities appropriately and create an awareness of public health policies and strategies.

A surveillance measure has to have reliability such that it can be used to aid in the use and interpretation of data in policy making, especially among culturally diverse populations (Evenson & McGinn, 2005). The PHQ2 can be used as a surveillance tool when collecting data from diverse population. This is because it has been proved to be a reliable source of collecting information among culturally diverse populations. The PHQ2 is able to detect MDD with a sensitivity of 83% and has a specificity of 92%. Issues such as the changing nature of how depression is expressed and experienced by various subcultures can thus be monitored using the PHQ2. In addition to this, the PHQ2 tool can be used to point out the areas of depression and mental health that should be researched on using the data collected from the various sub-cultures in the society.


Boardman, N. E. (2006). Cost-benefit analysis, concepts and practice. (3 ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall

Evenson, K. R & McGinn, A. P. (2005) Test-retest reliability of adult surveillance measures for physical activity and inactivity. Web.

Gotlib, H. I & Hammen, L, C. (2009). Handbook of Depression. The Guilford Press.

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