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PHQ9 Depression Test

The standard mental health test for depression (at least an indication that depression may be present) is called the PHQ9 test.

PHQ stands for Personal Health Questionnaire and the 9 refers to the number of questions that are used to determine the presence or absence of depression.

It was originally developed by Pfizer (the same organisation that produces the Coronavirus vaccine) but is now freely available for public use due to the copyright having expired.

Technically, the PHQ9 is a self-administered depression test meaning that the ‘patient’ answers the questions themselves and on the basis of the scoring system, gets an insight into what their reponses might mean.

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Subjectivity & Objectivity

It is important to be aware that the possible responses are subjective in nature and so the outcome is the result of subjectivity.

Unlike a blood test, which produces a definitive, or objective, result, self-administered tests are only as reliable as the responses that are given. Because of this, the results are NOT definitive, but only serve as an indication.

In fact, there is no objective test available to determine if a person has depression or not.

The Bio-medical modelling which claims that depression is related to imbalances in the brain chemistry of sufferers has not be shown to be the cause of depression, only that people who are experiencing depression may show varying levels of serotonin.

In this sense, brain chemical imbalances are only an indicator that depression may be present rather than depression is the result of chemical imbalances!

Nevertheless, the PHQ9 mental health test has found its way into the literature as a commonly used tool for indicating the presence of depression and in fact the NHS use this test, in conjunction with another test called the GAD7 test (Generalised Anxiety Disorder Assessment) to determine the effectiveness of its IAPT (Increasing Access to Psychological Therapies) services.

Test Validity

Although the test is limited by its subjective design, it has been measured for validity and has been found to be 88% sensitive with a specificity of 88% when the score is equal to or greater than 10.

PHQ9 Interactive Depression test

Responding to this quiz.

You must answer all 9 questions with one of the available options.

Over the last two weeks, how often have you been bothered by any of the following problems?

Little interest or pleasure in doing things.
Feeling down, depressed, or hopeless.
Trouble falling or staying asleep, or sleeping too much.
Feeling tired or having little energy.
Poor appetite or overeating.
Feeling bad about yourself – or that you are a failure or have let yourself or your family down.
Trouble concentrating on things, such as reading the newspaper or watching television.
Moving or speaking so slowly that other people could have noticed. Or the opposite – being so fidgety or restless that you have been moving around a lot more than usual.
Thoughts that you would be better off dead, or of hurting yourself in some way.
Silhouette of man next to large light bulb

Free Initial Consultations for Depression Problems

If your test indicates that you are experiencing the thoughts and behaviours associated with depression then why not arrange to come in for a chat with us about it.

We offer all prospective clients an initial consultation to discuss your depression-related mental health problems prior to commencing any counselling.

The consultation is free and lasts around 50 minutes.

During this consultation we will discuss the various types of psychological therapy that are available to you and make a considered recommendation based on your individual personal circumstances.

Initial consultations are also available as part of our online counselling service.

At Tranceform Psychology we emphasise the importance of the therapy relationship in helping people to bring about effective change, so its important to be able to ‘meet’ to discuss our change programmes BEFORE proceeding.

Our policy is to help people make a fully balanced & considered decision about undertaking mental health work with us, including both the financial and personal implications.

Related Concepts

Self Help CBT Course for depression Shown on PC

Overcome Depression with Our Self-Help CBT Programme – Only £99!

Self-help CBT has been shown to be highly effective for anxiety-related problems such as depression and can be carried out in the comfort of your own home.

Structured over TEN, in-depth modules, our Self-Help CBT course will teach you everything you need to know to change the way you think about and experience depression without having to visit a therapist.

Click Self-Help CBT for Depression to find out more.

Get in Touch With Us.

Psychologist Paul Lee in Wombourne Clinic

Contact Paul

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Tel: 07434 776125


Hypnotherapist and Psychotherapist Joan Lee in Wombourne Clinic

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Tel: 07434 776504


Contact Binder

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Tel: 07931 517241


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