• Screening for anxiety and depression in cancer patients: the effects of disease and treatment.

      Ibbotson, T; Maguire, Peter; Selby, P; Priestman, T; Wallace, L; CRC Psychological Medicine Group, Christie Hospital, Manchester, U.K. (1994)
      The General Health Questionnaire 28 (GHQ 28), Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), and Rotterdam Symptom Checklist (RSCL) seemed promising in their ability to detect anxiety and depression in cancer patients. To compare their screening performance, 513 patients were recruited from four cancer centres, and visited at home by a trained interviewer. Paired combinations of questionnaires (GHQ 28 + HADS, GHQ 28 + RSCL or RSCL+HADS) were used, and then the Psychiatric Assessment Schedule was administered to enable a psychiatric diagnosis to be made using DSM III diagnostic criteria. A receiver operating characteristics curve was drawn by plotting the true positive rate (sensitivity) against the false positive rate (1-specificity) for each possible score on each questionnaire. In the overall sample, the HADS and RSCL performed well comparably. The HADS did best in those free of disease and when the disease was judged to be stable. Only the RSCL performed well in those with progressive disease. Both the HADS and RSCL were effective in those on treatment. The GHQ was superior to the RSCL in those off treatment. The choice of questionnaire and threshold score should take disease and treatment status into account, but all three questionnaires have a definite role in screening out anxiety and depression.