Psychiatric Diagnostic Screening Questionnaire (PDSQ)

Author(s) : Mark Zimmerman

Publisher : WPS, 2002


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Please note: The PDSQ has been discontinued. While stocks last

Purpose: Screen for DSM-IV Axis I disorders most commonly encountered among individuals 18 years of age and older

Age: 18+

Time: 15-20 minutes

The Psychiatric Diagnostic Screening Questionnaire (PDSQ) is a brief self-report instrument that screens for the DSM-IV Axis I disorders most commonly encountered in medical and outpatient mental health settings.

It allows primary-care providers to routinely consider co-morbidity without significant additional demands on their time.

Administered and scored in the clinician’s office prior to the initial diagnostic interview, the PDSQ requires just 15 to 20 minutes to complete. Its 125 yes-or-no items can be quickly hand scored to obtain a Total Score (which functions as a global indicator of psychopathology) plus scale scores for 13 disorders:

  1. Major Depressive Disorder
  2. Generalised Anxiety Disorder
  3. Panic Disorder
  4. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
  5. Alcohol Abuse/Dependence
  6. Drug Abuse/Dependence
  7. Psychosis
  8. Bulimia/Binge-Eating Disorder
  9. Somatisation Disorder
  10. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  11. Social Phobia
  12. Hypochondriasis
  13. Agoraphobia

Cutoff scores, critical items, and follow-up interview guides are provided for each disorder. If the patient scores above the cutoff for one or more disorders, the clinician can use the appropriate follow-up interview guide to gain more specific clinical information and to record relevant details.

If clinicians review PDSQ results before seeing patients, they are less likely to overlook areas of psychopathology, especially when patients suffer from more than one disorder. The PDSQ can improve the efficiency of diagnostic evaluation by quickly guiding clinicians toward symptom areas that should be examined in follow-up assessment.

Mark Zimmerman

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