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United States Department  of Veterans Affairs

Depression Screening (PHQ-9) - Instructions

The following questions are a screening focusing on symptoms of depression. Please read each question carefully, then select the answer that indicates how much you have been bothered by that problem in the past 2 weeks. This entire screening is processed on this local computer. No information is collected, stored or sent over the Internet. To ensure complete privacy, exit your web browser after completing this screening.

If you have problems accessing this tool, there is also text-only version.

Depression Screening - Manual Instructions

The following questions are a screening focusing on symptoms of depression. Please read each question carefully, then select the answer that indicates how much you have been bothered by that problem in the past 2 weeks. Instructions on scoring and interpreting your results are located after the final question.

There is also an interactive version of this tool.

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?





If you checked off any problems, how difficult have these problems made it for you to do your work, take care of things at home, or get along with other people?





Warning!

Your screen results indicate that you may be at risk for harming yourself or someone else. Please call 911 or go immediately to the nearest hospital emergency room. You may also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).

How to score your answers.

Each "Not at all" answer has value of zero. Each "Several days" answer has a value of one. Each "More than half the days" answer has a value of two. Each "Nearly every day" answer has a value of three. Total all your answer scores to determine your screening result.

Read this if your screening result is between 0 and 9.

Your results

Your screen results indicate that you have few or no symptoms of depression. This screen is not designed to provide a comprehensive assessment or diagnosis of depression. Only a qualified physician or mental health provider can provide a complete assessment and diagnosis of depression. Only a qualified physician or mental health professional can differentiate symptoms of depression from other medical conditions. Only a qualified physician or mental health provider can prescribe appropriate treatment for depression or other medical conditions.

If you are concerned about any illness, regardless of what the screen shows, you should seek further evaluation from your physician. If you are concerned that you may have a medical emergency or are having thoughts of harming yourself or someone else, call 911, or go immediately to the nearest hospital emergency room for an evaluation.

You can print this page for your own records or to give to your physician or a mental health care provider by pressing CTRL+P or by going to File>Print in your browser's menu.

Read this if your screening result is between 10 and 14

Your results

Your screen results are consistent with minimal symptoms of depression. If these symptoms are distressing to you or are distracting you at work, or home, you may benefit from seeing your physician or a qualified mental health professional for a complete evaluation, as soon as practical. Although many veterans/individuals cope well with symptoms like yours, effective treatments for depression are available to help reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life. A mental health professional or your physician can advise you about whether you can benefit from treatment and describe different treatment alternatives.

This screen is not designed to provide a comprehensive assessment or diagnosis of depression. Only a qualified physician or mental health provider can provide a complete assessment and diagnosis of depression. Only a qualified physician or mental health professional can differentiate symptoms of depression from other medical conditions. Only a qualified physician or mental health provider can prescribe appropriate treatment for depression or other medical conditions.

If you are concerned about any illness, regardless of what the screen shows, you should seek further evaluation from your physician. If you are concerned that you may have a medical emergency or are having thoughts of harming yourself or someone else, call 911, or go immediately to the nearest hospital emergency room for an evaluation.

You can print this page for your own records or to give to your physician or a mental health care provider by pressing CTRL+P or by going to File>Print in your browser's menu.

Read this if your screening result is between 15 and 27.

Your results

Your screen results are consistent with many of the symptoms of depression. You are advised to see your physician or a qualified mental health professional immediately for a complete assessment. Although many veterans/individuals cope well with symptoms like yours, effective treatments for depression are available to help reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life. A mental health professional or your physician can advise you about whether you can benefit from treatment and describe different treatment alternatives.

This screen is not designed to provide a comprehensive assessment or diagnosis of depression. Only a qualified physician or mental health provider can provide a complete assessment and diagnosis of depression. Only a qualified physician or mental health professional can differentiate symptoms of depression from other medical conditions. Only a qualified physician or mental health provider can prescribe appropriate treatment for depression or other medical conditions.

If you are concerned about any illness, regardless of what the screen shows, you should seek further evaluation from your physician. If you are concerned that you may have a medical emergency or are having thoughts of harming yourself or someone else, call 911, or go immediately to the nearest hospital emergency room for an evaluation.

You can print this page for your own records or to give to your physician or a mental health care provider by pressing CTRL+P or by going to File>Print in your browser's menu.

Read this if you answered "Several days", "More than half the days", or "Nearly every day" to the next to the last question.

Your screen results indicate that you may be at risk for harming yourself or someone else. Please call 911 or go immediately to the nearest hospital emergency room. You may also call the Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).


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