Comparison of the PHQ9 and ImPACT symptom cluster scores in measuring depression among college athletesLoGalbo, A., DaCosta, A., & Webbe, F.

Appl Neuropsychol Adult -

LoGalbo, A., DaCosta, A., & Webbe, F..



Accurate identification of athletes in need of mental health services is essential. The clinical utility of the Patient Health Questionnaire – 9 (PHQ-9), a stand-alone measure of depression, was explored among Division II college athletes (n = 1,209) completing pre-participation concussion baseline assessments (mean age = 19.28), which also included Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT). ImPACT’s symptom inventory can be divided into four clusters: affective, cognitive, physical/somatic, and sleep. Most athletes (81.9%) did not endorse any items on the affective symptom cluster; however, 90 athletes (7.4%) fell above the cutoff of 5 for depression on the PHQ-9, and approximately half of all athletes endorsed one or more PHQ-9 items. Simple linear regressions revealed ImPACT’s sleep symptom cluster as the best predictor of PHQ-9 total score; however, affective, cognitive, and physical symptom clusters significantly predicted PHQ-9 total score as well. Due to relative under-endorsement of items on ImPACT’s affective symptom cluster compared to the PHQ-9, the clinical utility of incorporating a stand-alone measure of depression such as the PHQ-9 during baseline testing is supported.

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