Skip to main content


Comparison among measures of depression: reliability, validity, relationship to anxiety and personality and the role of age and life events


During the last decades, several scales assessing depressive symptoms emerged, however there are only a few studies comparing them in terms of reliability and validity.

Materials and methods

The study sample included 40 depressed patients 29.65 ± 9.38 years old, and 120 normal comparison subjects 27.23 ± 10.62 years old. Clinical Diagnosis was reached by consensus of two examiners with the use of the SCAN v.2.0. The depressive scales applied and standardized were the CES-D, ZDRS, BDI-I, and the KSQ. Also, the STAI, the Life Events scale (Holms and Rahe), and the EPQ were administered. The analysis included the comparison of psychometric properties and the use of Pearson correlation coefficient and factor analysis.


The results suggest that all scales correlated with anxiety measurements, sociodemographic variables, personality dimensions and non-significant indices to a similar extend. However, the MDI performed somewhat better, while the ZDRS had a very low internal consistency.


The comparison of several depressive scales provided no impressive results on the superiority or inferiority of a specific scale on the others.

Author information

Correspondence to Konstantinos Fountoulakis.

Rights and permissions

Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Reprints and Permissions

About this article


  • Public Health
  • Depressive Symptom
  • Internal Consistency
  • Pearson Correlation
  • Clinical Diagnosis