What is it about?

Assessing depression is crucial in cancer care. We have examined the diagnostic accuracy of an Arabic version of the PHQ-9 in detecting depression among cancer patients. A score of 9 or more in the PHQ-9 provided the best diagnostic accuracy.

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Why is it important?

The best diagnostic cutoff score for detecting depression using the PHQ-9 was found to be different among different cultures. For cancer patients, this was found to be ranged from 7 to 11. None was known for the Arabic-speaking cancer patients. Our study found that a score of 9 or more in the PHQ-9 provided the best diagnostic accuracy. This can help when choosing the PHQ-9 as a screening tool for Arabic speaking cancer patient as part of multidisciplinary care for cancer patients.


I hope this article provides insight into the importance of detecting depression in cancer patients. While cutoff scores were found different in different populations, establishing which would be the best score for Arabic speaking cancer patient can help to establish a better screening for depression as part of the holistic care for cancer patients,

Dr Ahmad Saad Alzahrani
King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: The diagnostic accuracy of the 9-item patient health questionnaire as a depression screening instrument in Arabic-speaking cancer patients, Neurology Psychiatry and Brain Research, September 2020, Elsevier, DOI: 10.1016/j.npbr.2020.07.003.
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