Psychiatry and Clinical Psychopharmacology
ORIGINAL ARTICLE

A Way to Increase the Sensitivity and Specificity of the Hamilton Depression and Anxiety Scales

1.

Department of Biostatistics, Istanbul University School of Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey

2.

Department of Biostatistics, Istanbul University Cerrahpasa School of Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey

3.

Department of Psychology, Bogazici University Faculty of Science and Literature, Istanbul, Turkey

4.

Kemal Arikan Psychiatry Clinic, Istanbul, Turkey

5.

Department of Psychiatry, Yeditepe University School of Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey

6.

Department of Psychology, Istanbul Medipol University, Istanbul, Turkey

7.

Department of Psychology, Uskudar University, Istanbul, Turkey

Psychiatry and Clinical Psychopharmacology 2021; 31: 292-302
DOI: 10.5152/pcp.2021.21386
Read: 208 Downloads: 35 Published: 14 July 2021

Objective: The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HDRS-17) and the Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HARS-14) have been acknowledged as gold standards in evaluating the severity of depression and anxiety. The specificity and sensitivity of these scales in predicting somatic complaints of depression and anxiety are issues in both clinical and research areas. The present study proposes a new model to enhance the sensitivity and specificity of HDRS-17 and HARS-14 for predicting symptoms of insomnia, inappetence, and loss of libido in psychiatric patients.

Methods: This study included 1507 patients diagnosed with bipolar disorder, depression, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder. The HDRS-17 and the HARS-14 were utilized as predictive scales for the prediction of patients’ sleep, appetite, and libido. The sensitivity and specificity were computed using the receiver operating characteristic (ROC). Logistic regression was performed to enhance the predictive values. The predictive value of the logistic regression model was not satisfactory, and a conversion table was therefore designed for each symptom-diagnosis subgroup. The new joint ROC model was then used to recalculate the sensitivity and specificity of the 2 scales for each symptom-diagnosis subgroup. The outcome is a prediction table, presented for use by clinicians.

Results: It was observed that the new statistical model, the joint ROC, increased the sensitivity and specificity of the HDRS-17 and the HARS-14.

Conclusion: Based on the results of the evaluations with the HDRS and the HARS, the joint ROC method was developed to better predict the presence of symptoms.

Cite this article as: Guven Gunver M, Senocak M, Ilhan R, et al. A way to increase the sensitivity and specificity of the hamilton depression and anxiety scales. Psychiatr Clin Psychopharmacol. 2021;31(3):292-302.

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