Psychometric Measures

Although formal diagnosis is not a standard part of a CT assessment, diagnostic interview schedules such as the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID; Spitzer, Williams, Gibbon, & First, 1992) can provide a useful template to cover the main symptoms of depression. It is helpful to focus on a specific, recent time period (e.g., the last week), but the therapist should ascertain whether the chosen time period is reasonably representative of the patient's usual experience of depressive symptoms.

It is also helpful to assess the severity of the patient's overall symptomatology; and standard measures such as the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II; Steer & Brown, 1996) have a useful role. However, we provide a note of caution. Given that a proportion of patients with chronic depression are reluctant to acknowledge and discuss depressive symptoms, they may underrate their symptoms when completing standard measures. Therefore, as a rule of thumb, such measures should always be supplemented by more detailed questioning about each symptom, with some subjective measure of frequency, intensity, and duration.

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