Making clinicians lives easier: Guidance on use of the QIDS self-report in place of the MADRS

Thomas J. Carmody, A. John Rush, Ira H. Bernstein, Stephen Brannan, Mustafa M. Husain, Madhukar H. Trivedi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Background: The ability to convert total scores from one scale to another facilitates the interpretation of research findings and facilitates the use of systematic measurement in clinical practice. Methods: Item Response Theory methods were used to convert total scores between the 16-item Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology (QIDS-SR16) and the Montgomery Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) total scores. Data were obtained from a sample of 233 outpatients with highly treatment-resistant, nonpsychotic major depressive episodes participating in a one-year open label study of vagus nerve stimulation to augment psychotropic medication treatment. Results: MADRS total scores averaged 31.9 (SD = 6.7) at baseline and 21.9 (SD = 11.0) at one year. QIDS-SR16 total scores averaged 17.6 (SD = 3.6) at baseline and 12.5 (SD = 5.8) at one year. Based on one-year data (or exit if the patient did not complete one year), corresponding QIDS-SR16 and MADRS total scores were presented for each possible QIDS-SR16 and MADRS total score. A QIDS-SR16 total score of 5 was comparable to a MADRS total score of 7 or 8 (7.5). Limitation: The degree to which these results generalize to less treatment-resistant samples is unknown. Conclusion: The conversion of QIDS-SR16 and MADRS total scores provides a basis for clinicians who wish to use the QIDS-SR16 to understand what MADRS total scores reported in clinical trials approximate QIDS-SR16 total scores obtained with their patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-118
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of affective disorders
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - Oct 2006


  • 16-item Quick Inventory of Depressive Symptomatology-Self-report (QIDS-SR)
  • Classical test theory
  • Item response theory
  • Montgomery Äsberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS)
  • Psychometrics
  • Total score conversion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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