Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/29747
Title: Assigning Clinical Significance and Symptom Severity Using the Zung Scales: Levels of Misclassification Arising from Confusion between Index and Raw Scores
Contributor(s): Dunstan, Debra A  (author)orcid ; Scott, Ned  (author)
Publication Date: 2018-01-21
Open Access: Yes
DOI: 10.1155/2018/9250972
Handle Link: https://hdl.handle.net/1959.11/29747
Abstract: Background. The Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS) and Self-Rating Anxiety Scale (SAS) are two norm-referenced scales commonly used to identify the presence of depression and anxiety in clinical research. Unfortunately, several researchers have mistakenly applied index score criteria to raw scores when assigning clinical significance and symptom severity ratings. This study examined the extent of this problem. Method. 102 papers published over the six-year period from 2010 to 2015 were used to establish two convenience samples of 60 usages of each Zung scale. Results. In those papers where cut-off scores were used (i.e., 45/60 for SDS and 40/60 for SAS), up to 51% of SDS and 45% of SAS papers involved the incorrect application of index score criteria to raw scores. Inconsistencies were also noted in the severity ranges and cut-off scores used. Conclusions. A large percentage of publications involving the Zung SDS and SAS scales are using incorrect criteria for the classification of clinically significant symptoms of depression and anxiety. The most common error—applying index score criteria to raw scores—produces a substantial elevation of the cut-off points for significance. Given the continuing usage of these scales, it is important that these inconsistencies be highlighted and resolved.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Depression Research and Treatment, v.2018, p. 1-13
Publisher: Hindawi Limited
Place of Publication: United KIngdom
ISSN: 2090-133X
2090-1321
Field of Research (FoR) 2008: 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Field of Research (FoR) 2020: 520302 Clinical psychology
520304 Health psychology
520303 Counselling psychology
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2008: 920410 Mental Health
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO) 2020: 200409 Mental health
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Health
School of Psychology

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