Somatic complaints in primary care: Further examining the validity of the patient health questionnaire (PHQ-15)

Alejandro Interian, Lesley A. Allen, Michael A. Gara, Javier I. Escobar, Angélica M. Díaz-Martínez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations

Abstract

The authors examined the reliability and validity of the PHQ-15, a measure of current somatic complaints. An index of medically unexplained symptoms was used as a key criterion. Data were utilized from medical outpatients enrolled in a treatment study for moderate-to-severe somatization (N= 172). Approximately 68% of the sample was Hispanic. Results showed that the PHQ-15 was moderately related to a history of medically unexplained symptoms among non-Hispanic participants. Results indicated ethnic differences on the validity profile of the PHQ-15 showing that the criterion variables were less predictive of the PHQ-15 among Hispanics than among non-Hispanics. Also, among the Hispanic group, the PHQ-15 was less related to medically unexplained symptoms and more to psychiatric distress. General support was provided for using the PHQ-15 with clinical samples composed of non-Hispanics. Also, the PHQ-15 appears to measure medically unexplained symptoms, psychiatric distress, and physical functioning. Further study is recommended to better evaluate ethnic variations and other types of validity for the PHQ-15.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)392-398
Number of pages7
JournalPsychosomatics
Volume47
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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