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Common postpartum mental health (PMH) disorders such as depression and anxiety are preventable, but determining individual-level risk is difficult.
To create and internally validate a clinical risk index for common PMH disorders.
Using population-based health administrative data in Ontario, Canada, comprising sociodemographic, clinical and health service variables easily collectible from hospital birth records, we developed and internally validated a predictive model for common PMH disorders and converted the final model into a risk index. We developed the model in 75% of the cohort (n = 152 362), validating it in the remaining 25% (n = 75 772).
The 1-year prevalence of common PMH disorders was 6.0%. Independently associated variables (forming the mnemonic PMH CAREPLAN) that made up the risk index were: (P) prenatal care provider; (M) mental health diagnosis history and medications during pregnancy; (H) psychiatric hospital admissions or emergency department visits; (C) conception type and complications; (A) apprehension of newborn by child services (newborn taken into care); (R) region of maternal origin; (E) extremes of gestational age at birth; (P) primary maternal language; (L) lactation intention; (A) maternal age; (N) number of prenatal visits. In the index (scored 0–39), 1-year common PMH disorder risk ranged from 1.5 to 40.5%. Discrimination (C-statistic) was 0.69 in development and validation samples; the 95% confidence interval of expected risk encompassed observed risk for all scores in development and validation samples, indicating adequate risk index calibration.
Individual-level risk of developing a common postpartum mental health disorder can be estimated with data feasibly collectable from birth records. Next steps are external validation and evaluation of various cut-off scores for their utility in guiding postpartum individuals to interventions that reduce their risk of illness.
Previous research on the depression scale of the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) has found that different latent factor models have maximized empirical measures of goodness-of-fit. The clinical relevance of these differences is unclear. We aimed to investigate whether depression screening accuracy may be improved by employing latent factor model-based scoring rather than sum scores.
We used an individual participant data meta-analysis (IPDMA) database compiled to assess the screening accuracy of the PHQ-9. We included studies that used the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM (SCID) as a reference standard and split those into calibration and validation datasets. In the calibration dataset, we estimated unidimensional, two-dimensional (separating cognitive/affective and somatic symptoms of depression), and bi-factor models, and the respective cut-offs to maximize combined sensitivity and specificity. In the validation dataset, we assessed the differences in (combined) sensitivity and specificity between the latent variable approaches and the optimal sum score (⩾10), using bootstrapping to estimate 95% confidence intervals for the differences.
The calibration dataset included 24 studies (4378 participants, 652 major depression cases); the validation dataset 17 studies (4252 participants, 568 cases). In the validation dataset, optimal cut-offs of the unidimensional, two-dimensional, and bi-factor models had higher sensitivity (by 0.036, 0.050, 0.049 points, respectively) but lower specificity (0.017, 0.026, 0.019, respectively) compared to the sum score cut-off of ⩾10.
In a comprehensive dataset of diagnostic studies, scoring using complex latent variable models do not improve screening accuracy of the PHQ-9 meaningfully as compared to the simple sum score approach.
Item 9 of the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) queries about thoughts of death and self-harm, but not suicidality. Although it is sometimes used to assess suicide risk, most positive responses are not associated with suicidality. The PHQ-8, which omits Item 9, is thus increasingly used in research. We assessed equivalency of total score correlations and the diagnostic accuracy to detect major depression of the PHQ-8 and PHQ-9.
We conducted an individual patient data meta-analysis. We fit bivariate random-effects models to assess diagnostic accuracy.
16 742 participants (2097 major depression cases) from 54 studies were included. The correlation between PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 scores was 0.996 (95% confidence interval 0.996 to 0.996). The standard cutoff score of 10 for the PHQ-9 maximized sensitivity + specificity for the PHQ-8 among studies that used a semi-structured diagnostic interview reference standard (N = 27). At cutoff 10, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive by 0.02 (−0.06 to 0.00) and more specific by 0.01 (0.00 to 0.01) among those studies (N = 27), with similar results for studies that used other types of interviews (N = 27). For all 54 primary studies combined, across all cutoffs, the PHQ-8 was less sensitive than the PHQ-9 by 0.00 to 0.05 (0.03 at cutoff 10), and specificity was within 0.01 for all cutoffs (0.00 to 0.01).
PHQ-8 and PHQ-9 total scores were similar. Sensitivity may be minimally reduced with the PHQ-8, but specificity is similar.
Different diagnostic interviews are used as reference standards for major depression classification in research. Semi-structured interviews involve clinical judgement, whereas fully structured interviews are completely scripted. The Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI), a brief fully structured interview, is also sometimes used. It is not known whether interview method is associated with probability of major depression classification.
To evaluate the association between interview method and odds of major depression classification, controlling for depressive symptom scores and participant characteristics.
Data collected for an individual participant data meta-analysis of Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) diagnostic accuracy were analysed and binomial generalised linear mixed models were fit.
A total of 17 158 participants (2287 with major depression) from 57 primary studies were analysed. Among fully structured interviews, odds of major depression were higher for the MINI compared with the Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI) (odds ratio (OR) = 2.10; 95% CI = 1.15–3.87). Compared with semi-structured interviews, fully structured interviews (MINI excluded) were non-significantly more likely to classify participants with low-level depressive symptoms (PHQ-9 scores ≤6) as having major depression (OR = 3.13; 95% CI = 0.98–10.00), similarly likely for moderate-level symptoms (PHQ-9 scores 7–15) (OR = 0.96; 95% CI = 0.56–1.66) and significantly less likely for high-level symptoms (PHQ-9 scores ≥16) (OR = 0.50; 95% CI = 0.26–0.97).
The MINI may identify more people as depressed than the CIDI, and semi-structured and fully structured interviews may not be interchangeable methods, but these results should be replicated.
Declaration of interest
Drs Jetté and Patten declare that they received a grant, outside the submitted work, from the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, which was jointly funded by the Institute and Pfizer. Pfizer was the original sponsor of the development of the PHQ-9, which is now in the public domain. Dr Chan is a steering committee member or consultant of Astra Zeneca, Bayer, Lilly, MSD and Pfizer. She has received sponsorships and honorarium for giving lectures and providing consultancy and her affiliated institution has received research grants from these companies. Dr Hegerl declares that within the past 3 years, he was an advisory board member for Lundbeck, Servier and Otsuka Pharma; a consultant for Bayer Pharma; and a speaker for Medice Arzneimittel, Novartis, and Roche Pharma, all outside the submitted work. Dr Inagaki declares that he has received grants from Novartis Pharma, lecture fees from Pfizer, Mochida, Shionogi, Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma, Daiichi-Sankyo, Meiji Seika and Takeda, and royalties from Nippon Hyoron Sha, Nanzando, Seiwa Shoten, Igaku-shoin and Technomics, all outside of the submitted work. Dr Yamada reports personal fees from Meiji Seika Pharma Co., Ltd., MSD K.K., Asahi Kasei Pharma Corporation, Seishin Shobo, Seiwa Shoten Co., Ltd., Igaku-shoin Ltd., Chugai Igakusha and Sentan Igakusha, all outside the submitted work. All other authors declare no competing interests. No funder had any role in the design and conduct of the study; collection, management, analysis and interpretation of the data; preparation, review or approval of the manuscript; and decision to submit the manuscript for publication.
Depression measures that include somatic symptoms may inflate severity estimates among medically ill patients, including those with cardiovascular disease.
To evaluate whether people receiving in-patient treatment following acute myocardial infarction (AMI) had higher somatic symptom scores on the Beck Depression Inventory–II (BDI–II) than a non-medically ill control group matched on cognitive/affective scores.
Somatic scores on the BDI–II were compared between 209 patients admitted to hospital following an AMI and 209 psychiatry out-patients matched on gender, age and cognitive/affective scores, and between 366 post-AMI patients and 366 undergraduate students matched on gender and cognitive/affective scores.
Somatic symptoms accounted for 44.1% of total BDI–II score for the 209 post-AMI and psychiatry out-patient groups, 52.7% for the 366 post-AMI patients and 46.4% for the students. Post-AMI patients had somatic scores on average 1.1 points higher than the students (P<0.001). Across groups, somatic scores accounted for approximately 70% of low total scores (BDI–II <4) v. approximately 35% in patients with total BDI–II scores of 12 or more.
Our findings contradict assertions that self-report depressive symptom measures inflate severity scores in post-AMI patients. However, the preponderance of somatic symptoms at low score levels across groups suggests that BDI–II scores may include a small amount of somatic symptom variance not necessarily related to depression in post-AMI and non-medically ill respondents.
In low-income countries, clinicians must seek strategies to improve treatment adherence that are non-resource intensive and easily integrated into existing treatment structures. We conducted a prospective observational cohort study to investigate the relationship of family engagement in treatment during hospitalisation with post-discharge appointment and medication adherence in 81 patients from a Nigerian psychiatric hospital. After controlling for gender, diagnosis, mental state at discharge, and marital status, family involvement was significantly associated with appointment (P=0.047) but not medication adherence (P=0.590). Studies are needed to determine whether interventions based on engaging families in treatment can improve post-discharge adherence in this setting.
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