Interrater reliability of the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression
Interrater reliability of the Dutch version of the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRSD 17 items) was investigated. Although sufficient, a kappa of .65, found for all raters, was not very high. Specifically item 2 (feelings of guilt) and item 11 (psychic anxiety) seemed difficult to judge. The most experienced raters achieved the highest kappas as well on the total score of the HRSD.
It is concluded that this version of the HRSD, if administered by experienced raters, is a reasonably reliable instrument to obtain a certain ‘cut-off score (for instance in-exclusion criterium) as well as to measure the change in severity of the depression during treatment.