Background: Valuations of depression are useful to evaluate depression interventions offered to patients with chronic somatic conditions. The only classification system to describe depression developed specifically for valuation purposes is the McSad, but it has not been used among somatic patients. The aim of this study was to test the construct validity of the McSad among diabetes and cancer patients and then to compare the McSad to the commonly used EuroQol - 5 Dimensions (EQ-5D (TM)) classification system. The comparison was expected to shed light on their capacity to reflect the range of depression states experienced by somatic patients.
Methods: Cross-sectional data were collected online from 114 diabetes and 195 cancer patients; additionally, 241 cancer patients completed part of the survey on paper. Correlational analyses were performed to test the construct validity. Specifically, we hypothesized high correlations of the McSad domains with depression (Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) and the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9)). We also expected low/moderate correlations with self-esteem (Rosenberg Self-Esteem scale - RSE) and extraversion (Eysenck Personality Questionnaire Extraversion scale - EPQ-e). Multiple linear regression analyses were run so that the proportion of variance in depression scores (CES-D, PHQ-9) explained by the McSad could be compared to the proportion explained by the EQ-5D classification system.
Results: As expected, among all patients groups, we found moderate to high correlations for the McSad domains with the CES-D (.41 to .70) and the PHQ-9 (.52 to .76); we also found low to moderate correlations with the RSE (-.21 to .-48) and the EPQ-e (.18 to .31). Linear regression analyses showed that the McSad explained a greater proportion of variance in depression (CES-D, PHQ-9) (Diabetes: 73%, 82%; Cancer: 72%, 72%) than the EQ-5D classification system (Diabetes: 47%, 59%; Cancer: 51%, 47%).
Conclusions: Findings support the construct validity of the McSad among patients with somatic conditions and demonstrate that it performs better than the EQ-5D classification system to reflect the range of depression states. For future valuation purposes, the McSad classification system could therefore be recommended to describe depression as experienced by patients with a chronic medical condition.