Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Hamilton Depression Rating Scale

  • Dawn M. EhdeEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1989


HAM-D; HAMD, Hamilton rating scale for depression; HDRS; HRSD


The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D) is a widely used, semistructured interview that assists in assessing the presence and severity of depressive symptoms (Hamilton 1960). More than 20 published versions of the HAM-D exist (Bagby et al. 2004), with the most commonly used versions containing 17–21 items. Administration and scoring take approximately 20–30 min.

The original version contained 21 items, assessing depressive symptoms experienced in the past week such as depressed mood, guilt, psychomotor retardation, insomnia, somatic symptoms, weight loss, and suicide. As the scale was based on earlier conceptualizations of depressive disorders, it also includes items outside of current conceptualizations (per DSM-IV; American Psychiatric Association 1994) of depressive disorders, including somatic anxiety and hypochondriasis. For the same reason, atypical depressive symptoms included in the DSM-IV,...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References and Readings

  1. American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
  2. Ashman, T. A., Cantor, J. B., Gordon, W. A., Spielman, L., Flanagan, S., Ginsberg, A., et al. (2009). A randomized controlled trial of sertraline for the treatment of depression in persons with traumatic brain injury. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 90, 733–740.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bagby, R. M., Ryder, A. G., Schuller, D. R., & Marshall, M. B. (2004). The Hamilton depression rating scale: Has the gold standard become a lead weight? American Journal of Psychiatry, 161, 2163–2177.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. First, M. B., Spitzer, R. L., Gibbon, M., & Williams, J. B. W. (2002). Structured clinical interview for DSM-IV Axis I disorders, clinician version (SCID-CV). New York: Biometrics Research, New York State Psychiatric Institute.Google Scholar
  5. Hamilton, M. A. (1960). A rating scale for depression. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry, 23, 56–62.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Hamilton, M. A. (1967). Development of a rating scale for primary depressive illness. British Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 6, 278–296.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Kroenke, K., Spitzer, R. L., & Williams, J. B. W. (2001). The PHQ-9: Validity of a brief depression severity measure. Journal of General Internal Medicine, 16, 606–613.PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Nelson, J. C., Portera, L., & Leon, A. C. (2006). Assessment of outcome in depression. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 20(Suppl 4), 47–53.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Robinson, R. G., Jorge, R. E., & Clarence-Smith, K. (2008). Double-blind randomized treatment of poststroke depression using nefiracetam. Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, 20, 178–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Tedlow, J., Fava, M., Uebelacker, L., Nierenberg, A. A., Alpert, J. E., & Rosenbaum, J. (1998). Outcome definitions and predictors in depression. Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, 67, 266–270.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Williams, J. B. (1988). A structured interview guide for the Hamilton depression rating scale. Archives of General Psychiatry, 45, 742–747.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Williams, J. B. (2001). Standardizing the Hamilton depression rating scale: Past, present, and future. European Archives of Psychiatry and Clinical Neuroscience, 251(Suppl 2), 11-6–11-12.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Rehabilitation MedicineUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA