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Evidence to Support Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale Administration Every 24 Hours to Assess Rapid Onset of Treatment Response

J Clin Psychiatry 2016;77(12):1681–1686

Objective: This study investigated the suitability of the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS), with a 24-hour recall period (MADRS-24hr), to assess the rapid onset of the antidepressant effect of a treatment in patients with treatment-resistant depression (TRD). Psychometric properties of the MADRS-24hr were assessed together with qualitative assessment of content validity.

Methods: Content validity was assessed using semistructured interviews conducted from November 2013 to December 2013 in patients (18–64 years old) with TRD who met DSM-IV diagnostic criteria and health care professionals (HCPs) experienced in treating major depressive disorder and familiar with using the MADRS. The psychometric properties of MADRS-24hr were evaluated using data from 2 randomized clinical studies involving patients with TRD.

Results: A total of 23 patients (15 [65%] women) with TRD (mean age = 45 years) and 11 HCPs were interviewed. With the exception of reduced sleep, the majority of patients and HCPs reported that the items captured in the MADRS can fluctuate in a 24-hour period. The majority of participants also reported that a meaningful change in depression symptoms could be assessed in a 24-hour recall period, except for reduced sleep and appetite. Assessment of the psychometric properties of the MADRS-24hr showed that this instrument had high internal consistency reliability (Cronbach α of 0.84 and 0.91) and test-retest reliability (intraclass correlation coefficients of 0.96 and 0.91), had construct validity, and was responsive to change following an intervention.

Conclusions: Overall, results suggest that MADRS-24hr can be used to assess the rapid onset of antidepressant efficacy of a treatment in patients with TRD.

Trial Registration: identifiers: NCT01627782 and NCT01640080