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A Pilot Study of an Electronic, Adolescent Version of the Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology

J Clin Psychiatry 2007;68(9):1436-1440

Background: Adolescent depression assessments are time-intensive, often requiring separate interviews with an adolescent and a parent/informant. In adults, a self-rated, interactive voice response (IVR) version of the Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology (QIDS-IVR) has been shown to be reliable, valid, and sensitive to change. An adolescent version of the QIDS (QIDS-A-IVR) was created using speaker-independent voice recognition technology. An informant version, QIDS-P-IVR, collects ratings from parents or other knowledgeable adults.

Method: The study included 27 adolescents ranging from 12 to 17 years of age, 48% of whom were female. During a single office visit, adolescents completed the QIDS-A-IVR and parents completed the QIDS-P-IVR. A clinician completed the clinician-rated adult version of the QIDS separately for adolescents (QIDS-C-A) and parents (QIDS-C-P) and the Children's Depression Rating Scale-Revised (CDRS-R). The study was conducted from October 2005 to April 2006.

Results:Cronbach alpha of the QIDS-A-IVR was .85. The QIDS-A-IVR correlated significantly with the QIDS-C-A (r = 0.95) and the CDRS-R (r = 0.76), both p < .01. Conversely, the correlations of the QIDS-A-IVR with the QIDS-P-IVR and the QIDS-C-P were small and nonsignificant. The QIDS-A-IVR required adolescents a mean of 6 minutes and 31 seconds to complete (SD = 41 seconds). The voice recognition technology correctly identified the adolescents' spoken words in 92% of the 483 spoken responses. The system recognized a response from all adolescents on all items.

Conclusions: This study supports the reliability and validity of the QIDS-A-IVR as an adolescent depression measure. The QIDS-A-IVR may provide clinicians and researchers with a sound, technology-based method of assessing adolescent depression. Future research is needed on the informational value of parent ratings of adolescent depression.