Concordance between two measures of depression in the Hispanic Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

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A concordance analysis between the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Diagnostic Interview Schedule (DIS) for current major depression was conducted using data from Cuban Americans and Puerto Rican respondents to the Hispanic Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (HHANES). Overall agreement between the two depression measures was relatively high, which suggested that the CES-D might be appropriate as a first-stage screening instrument for community-based surveys of clinical depression. Female gender and indicators of social class (education, income, poverty index, and employment) were related to low specificity and low agreement. The estimated cutoff points of the CES-D that best predicted DIS current major depression were different between the two ethnic groups; 17 for Cuban Americans, and 20 for Puerto Ricans. A receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curve analysis revealed that the traditional method of defining CES-D cases by summing the scores for each item was superior to counting only the persistent symptoms, that is, those present nearly everyday.