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Depression and the Childhood Depression Inventory

Presented at the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 2004 Annual Meeting

C Petersen, M.D., Department of Psychiatry, Penn State College of Medicine; , S Mayes, Ph.D., N Vegesna, M.D., D Mauger, Ph.D.


Objective:  This study on inpatient children reports on the congruence of a clinician’s DSM-IV diagnosis versus a patient-administered scale (CDI) versus the parent’s report of depression.

Methods: The sample comprised 111 children, 5 to 15 years of age admitted to our child psychiatry unit. Sixty-three of the children had a DSM-IV diagnosis of depression and 48 did not. Children completed the CDI.

Results: CDI scores differed significantly (p < .0001) between children with depression and children without depression. Positive and negative predictive power were high (79% and 61%). Within the depressed group, percent agreement for depression was 81% for the child psychiatrist and child, and 81% for the psychiatrist and parent.

Conclusion:  The CDI is a valuable instrument in the inpatient assessment of children and is a good predictor of depressive diagnosis.

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