Open Access Research

Testing the McSad depression specific classification system in patients with somatic conditions: validity and performance

Katerina Papageorgiou1*, Karin M Vermeulen2, Maya J Schroevers1, Erik Buskens2 and Adelita V Ranchor1

Author Affiliations

1 Health Psychology Section, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands

2 Department of Epidemiology, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands

For all author emails, please log on.

Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 2013, 11:125  doi:10.1186/1477-7525-11-125

Published: 26 July 2013

Abstract

Background

Valuations of depression are useful to evaluate depression interventions offered to patients with chronic somatic conditions. The only classification system to describe depression developed specifically for valuation purposes is the McSad, but it has not been used among somatic patients. The aim of this study was to test the construct validity of the McSad among diabetes and cancer patients and then to compare the McSad to the commonly used EuroQol – 5 Dimensions (EQ-5DTM) classification system. The comparison was expected to shed light on their capacity to reflect the range of depression states experienced by somatic patients.

Methods

Cross-sectional data were collected online from 114 diabetes and 195 cancer patients; additionally, 241 cancer patients completed part of the survey on paper. Correlational analyses were performed to test the construct validity. Specifically, we hypothesized high correlations of the McSad domains with depression (Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) and the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9)). We also expected low/moderate correlations with self-esteem (Rosenberg Self-Esteem scale - RSE) and extraversion (Eysenck Personality Questionnaire Extraversion scale - EPQ-e). Multiple linear regression analyses were run so that the proportion of variance in depression scores (CES-D, PHQ-9) explained by the McSad could be compared to the proportion explained by the EQ-5D classification system.

Results

As expected, among all patients groups, we found moderate to high correlations for the McSad domains with the CES-D (.41 to .70) and the PHQ-9 (.52 to .76); we also found low to moderate correlations with the RSE (-.21 to .-48) and the EPQ-e (.18 to .31). Linear regression analyses showed that the McSad explained a greater proportion of variance in depression (CES-D, PHQ-9) (Diabetes: 73%, 82%; Cancer: 72%, 72%) than the EQ-5D classification system (Diabetes: 47%, 59%; Cancer: 51%, 47%).

Conclusions

Findings support the construct validity of the McSad among patients with somatic conditions and demonstrate that it performs better than the EQ-5D classification system to reflect the range of depression states. For future valuation purposes, the McSad classification system could therefore be recommended to describe depression as experienced by patients with a chronic medical condition.