New measure of patient’s sense of depression

A NEW tool may help GPs better evaluate whether a patient’s depression has improved, according to study findings.

The Remission Evaluation and Mood Inventory Tool (REMIT), developed by US researchers for general practice, was designed to overcome the shortcomings of a definition of remission based on DSM-IV criteria.

The study authors said DSM-IV remission criteria didn’t necessarily correspond to a patient’s own sense of recovery.

The REMIT tool, a self-report measure based on five positive questions such as ‘Did you feel happy?’, was tested alongside the DSM-IV-based Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-8) in 1000 primary care patients experiencing depression.

Around one-third of mildly depressed patients defined as being in remission by the PHQ-8 were not in remission when the REMIT tool was used.

And one-third of moderately depressed patients felt better than their PHQ-8 scores indicated.