Factor structure and longitudinal measurement invariance of PHQ-9 for specialist mental health care patients with persistent major depressive disorder: Exploratory Structural Equation Modelling

Guo, Boliang and Kaylor-Hughes, Catherine and Garland, Anne and Nixon, Neil and Sweeney, Tim and Simpson, Sandra and Dalgleish, Tim and Yang, Min and Morriss, Richard (2017) Factor structure and longitudinal measurement invariance of PHQ-9 for specialist mental health care patients with persistent major depressive disorder: Exploratory Structural Equation Modelling. Journal of Affective Disorders, 219 . pp. 1-8. ISSN 1573-2517

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Abstract

Background: The Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) is a widely used instrument for measuring levels of depression in patients in clinical practice and academic research; its factor structure has been investigated in various samples, with limited evidence of measurement equivalence/invariance (ME/I) but not in patients with more severe depression of long duration. This study aims to explore the factor structure of the PHQ-9 and the ME/I between treatment groups over time for these patients.

Methods: 187 secondary care patients with persistent major depressive disorder (PMDD) were recruited to a randomised controlled trial (RCT) with allocation to either a specialist depression team arm or a general mental health arm; their PHQ-9 score was measured at baseline, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months. Exploratory Structural Equational Modelling (ESEM) was performed to examine the factor structure for this specific patient group. ME/I between treatment arm at and across follow-up time were further explored by means of multiple-group ESEM approach using the best-fitted factor structure.

Results: A two-factor structure was evidenced (somatic and affective factor). This two-factor structure had strong factorial invariance between the treatment groups at and across follow up times.

Limitations: Participants were largely white British in a RCT with 40% attrition potentially limiting the study’s generalisability. Not all two-factor modelling criteria were met at every time-point.

Conclusion: PHQ-9 has a two-factor structure for PMDD patients, with strong measurement invariance between treatment groups at and across follow-up time, demonstrating its validity for RCTs and prospective longitudinal studies in chronic moderate to severe depression.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: PHQ-9, factor structure, measurement equivalence/invariance, Exploratory Structural Equational Modelling, major depressive disorder, chronic depression
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > School of Medicine > Division of Psychiatry and Applied Psychology
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.jad.2017.05.020
Depositing User: Eprints, Support
Date Deposited: 10 May 2017 14:18
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2017 00:44
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/42726

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