Background Major depression is common after coronary artery bypass graft surgery and is associated with increased mortality and morbidity. Clinicians have few practical options for detecting depression, especially in women, who are at higher risk for depression than men.
Objectives To evaluate the clinical utility of common self-report and observer-rated instruments for detection of major depression in women after coronary artery bypass graft surgery.
Methods In 66 women being discharged after coronary artery bypass graft surgery, 4 instruments were completed: the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, Beck Depression Inventory, Beck Depression Inventory Short Form, and Beck Depression Inventory for Primary Care. For each instrument, receiver-operating-characteristic curves were analyzed, and positive and negative predictive values were calculated for cutoff points determined from the curves.
Results At hospital discharge, all 4 instruments yielded highly accurate curves. Compared with cutoffs suggested for patients without medical illness and hospitalized nonsurgical patients, identified cutoffs for screening were higher when all types of depressive symptoms (cognitive, affective, behavioral, somatic) were measured with the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale and the Beck Depression Inventory but lower when only cognitive and/or affective symptoms were measured with the 2 subscales of the Beck Depression Inventory.
Conclusions The Hamilton Depression Rating Scale and both subscales of the Beck Depression Inventory may be useful for detecting major depression in women shortly after coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Further study is warranted to confirm cutoffs in these patients.