Version 2.77

Term Description

The Patient Health Questionnaire is a self-administered version of the PRIME-MD diagnostic instrument for common mental disorders. The PHQ-9 is the depression module, which scores each of the 9 DSM-IV criteria as "0" (not at all) to "3" (nearly every day).
For initial diagnosis:
1. Patient completes PHQ-9 Quick Depression Assessment on accompanying tear-off pad.
2. If there are at least 4 checks in the blue highlighted section (including Questions #1 and #2), consider a depressive disorder. Add score to determine severity.
3a. Consider Major Depressive Disorder: if there are at least 5 checks in the blue highlighted section (one of which corresponds to Question #1 or #2).
3b. Consider Other Depressive Disorder: if there are 2 to 4 checks in the blue highlighted section (one of which corresponds to Question #1 or #2)

Note: Since the questionnaire relies on patient self-report, all responses should be verified by the clinician and a definitive diagnosis made on clinical grounds, taking into account how well the patient understood the questionnaire, as well as other relevant information from the patient. Diagnoses of Major Depressive Disorder or Other Depressive Disorder also require impairment of social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning (Question #10) and ruling out normal bereavement, a history of a Manic Episode (Bipolar Disorder), and a physical disorder, medication, or other drug as the biological cause of the depressive symptoms.

To monitor severity over time for newly diagnosed patients or patients in current treatment for depression:

1. Patients may complete questionnaires at baseline and at regular intervals (eg, every 2 weeks) at home and bring them in at their next appointment for scoring or they may complete the questionnaire during each scheduled appointment.
2. Add up the checks by column. For every check: Several days = 1 More than half the days = 2 Nearly every day = 3
3. Add together column scores to get a TOTAL score.
4. Refer to the accompanying PHQ-9 Scoring Card to interpret the TOTAL score.
5. Results may be included in patients' files to assist you in setting up a treatment goal, determining degree of response, as well as guiding treatment intervention.

PHQ-9 is adapted from PRIME MD TODAY, developed by Drs Robert L. Spitzer, Janet B.W. Williams, Kurt Kroenke, and colleagues, with an educational grant from Pfizer Inc. For research information, contact Dr Spitzer at
Source: Regenstrief LOINC

Reference Information

Type Source Reference
Article NCBI PubMed Kroenke K, Spitzer RL, Williams JB. The PHQ-9: validity of a brief depression severity measure. J Gen Intern Med. 2001 Sep;16(9):606-13. Link to PubMed
Original Form Pfizer, IncCopyright Copyright © Pfizer Inc. All rights reserved. Original form upon which the LOINC panel is based. Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9)
Citation Regenstrief Help Kroenke K. Spitzer RL. Williams JB. Lowe B., The Patient Health Questionnaire Somatic, Anxiety, and Depressive Symptom Scales: a systematic review. [Review], General Hospital Psychiatry. 32(4):345-59, 2010 Jul-Aug.

Panel Hierarchy

Details for each LOINC in Panel LHC-Forms

LOINC Name R/O/C Cardinality Example UCUM Units
44249-1 PHQ-9 quick depression assessment panel [Reported.PHQ]
Indent44250-9 Little interest or pleasure in doing things 1..1
Indent44255-8 Feeling down, depressed, or hopeless 1..1
Indent44259-0 Trouble falling or staying asleep, or sleeping too much 1..1
Indent44254-1 Feeling tired or having little energy 1..1
Indent44251-7 Poor appetite or overeating 1..1
Indent44258-2 Feeling bad about yourself-or that you are a failure or have let yourself or your family down 1..1
Indent44252-5 Trouble concentrating on things, such as reading the newspaper or watching television 1..1
Indent44253-3 Moving or speaking so slowly that other people could have noticed. Or the opposite-being so fidgety or restless that you have been moving around a lot more than usual 1..1
Indent44260-8 Thoughts that you would be better off dead, or of hurting yourself in some way
Indent69722-7 How difficult have these problems made it for you to do your work, take care of things at home, or get along with other people?
Indent44261-6 Patient Health Questionnaire 9 item (PHQ-9) total score [Reported] {score}

Fully-Specified Name

PHQ-9 quick depression assessment panel

Basic Attributes

First Released
Version 2.17
Last Updated
Version 2.44
Order vs. Observation
Panel Type

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