Depression Screening - My HealtheVet (2023)

Depression Screening (PHQ-9) - Instructions

The following questions are a screening focusing on symptoms of depression. Please read each question carefully, then select the answer that indicates how much you have been bothered by that problem in the past 2 weeks. This entire screening is processed on this local computer. No information is collected, stored or sent over the Internet. To ensure complete privacy, exit your web browser after completing this screening.

If you have problems accessing this tool, there is also text-only version.

Depression Screening - Manual Instructions

The following questions are a screening focusing on symptoms of depression. Please read each question carefully, then select the answer that indicates how much you have been bothered by that problem in the past 2 weeks. Instructions on scoring and interpreting your results are located after the final question.

There is also an interactive version of this tool.

Little interest or pleasure in doing things?




Feeling down, depressed, or hopeless?




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Feeling tired or having little energy?




Poor appetite or overeating?




Feeling bad about yourself, or that you are a failure, or have let yourself or your family down?

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Trouble concentrating on things, such as reading the newspaper or watching television?




Moving or speaking so slowly that other people could have noticed. Or the opposite - being so fidgety or restless that you have been moving around a lot more than usual?




Thoughts that you would be better off dead, or of hurting yourself in some way?




If you checked off any problems, how difficult have these problems made it for you to do your work, take care of things at home, or get along with other people?




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Warning!

Your screen results indicate that you may be at risk for harming yourself or someone else. Please call 911 or go immediately to the nearest hospital emergency room. You may also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).

How to score your answers.

Each "Not at all" answer has value of zero. Each "Several days" answer has a value of one. Each "More than half the days" answer has a value of two. Each "Nearly every day" answer has a value of three. Total all your answer scores to determine your screening result.

Read this if your screening result is between 0 and 9.

Your results

Your screen results indicate that you have few or no symptoms of depression. This screen is not designed to provide a comprehensive assessment or diagnosis of depression. Only a qualified physician or mental health provider can provide a complete assessment and diagnosis of depression. Only a qualified physician or mental health professional can differentiate symptoms of depression from other medical conditions. Only a qualified physician or mental health provider can prescribe appropriate treatment for depression or other medical conditions.

If you are concerned about any illness, regardless of what the screen shows, you should seek further evaluation from your physician. If you are concerned that you may have a medical emergency or are having thoughts of harming yourself or someone else, call 911, or go immediately to the nearest hospital emergency room for an evaluation.

You can print this page for your own records or to give to your physician or a mental health care provider by pressing CTRL+P or by going to File>Print in your browser's menu.

Read this if your screening result is between 10 and 14

Your results

Your screen results are consistent with minimal symptoms of depression. If these symptoms are distressing to you or are distracting you at work, or home, you may benefit from seeing your physician or a qualified mental health professional for a complete evaluation, as soon as practical. Although many veterans/individuals cope well with symptoms like yours, effective treatments for depression are available to help reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life. A mental health professional or your physician can advise you about whether you can benefit from treatment and describe different treatment alternatives.

This screen is not designed to provide a comprehensive assessment or diagnosis of depression. Only a qualified physician or mental health provider can provide a complete assessment and diagnosis of depression. Only a qualified physician or mental health professional can differentiate symptoms of depression from other medical conditions. Only a qualified physician or mental health provider can prescribe appropriate treatment for depression or other medical conditions.

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If you are concerned about any illness, regardless of what the screen shows, you should seek further evaluation from your physician. If you are concerned that you may have a medical emergency or are having thoughts of harming yourself or someone else, call 911, or go immediately to the nearest hospital emergency room for an evaluation.

You can print this page for your own records or to give to your physician or a mental health care provider by pressing CTRL+P or by going to File>Print in your browser's menu.

Read this if your screening result is between 15 and 27.

Your results

Your screen results are consistent with many of the symptoms of depression. You are advised to see your physician or a qualified mental health professional immediately for a complete assessment. Although many veterans/individuals cope well with symptoms like yours, effective treatments for depression are available to help reduce your symptoms and improve your quality of life. A mental health professional or your physician can advise you about whether you can benefit from treatment and describe different treatment alternatives.

This screen is not designed to provide a comprehensive assessment or diagnosis of depression. Only a qualified physician or mental health provider can provide a complete assessment and diagnosis of depression. Only a qualified physician or mental health professional can differentiate symptoms of depression from other medical conditions. Only a qualified physician or mental health provider can prescribe appropriate treatment for depression or other medical conditions.

If you are concerned about any illness, regardless of what the screen shows, you should seek further evaluation from your physician. If you are concerned that you may have a medical emergency or are having thoughts of harming yourself or someone else, call 911, or go immediately to the nearest hospital emergency room for an evaluation.

You can print this page for your own records or to give to your physician or a mental health care provider by pressing CTRL+P or by going to File>Print in your browser's menu.

Read this if you answered "Several days", "More than half the days", or "Nearly every day" to the next to the last question.

Your screen results indicate that you may be at risk for harming yourself or someone else. Please call 911 or go immediately to the nearest hospital emergency room. You may also call the Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).

The PHQ-9 is a Pfizer product.

PRIME-MD® is a trademark of Pfizer Inc.

PHQ Copyright © 1999 Pfizer Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduced with permission.

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FAQs

Can you get tested for depression? ›

Your primary care provider may give you a depression test if you are showing signs of depression. If the screening shows you have depression, you may need treatment from a mental health provider. A mental health provider is a health care professional who specializes in diagnosing and treating mental health problems.

What helps people cope with depression? ›

How to cope with depression
  • Stay in touch. Don't withdraw from life. ...
  • Be more active. Take up some form of exercise. ...
  • Face your fears. Don't avoid the things you find difficult. ...
  • Don't drink too much alcohol. For some people, alcohol can become a problem. ...
  • Try to eat a healthy diet. ...
  • Have a routine.

What is the CPT code for depression? ›

Screening for depression when symptoms ARE present – Use CPT 96127. CPT 96161 is used for administration, scoring, and documentation of a caregiver-focused risk assessment using a standardized instrument, such as screening for maternal depression during a well-child visit.

How do people get diagnosed with depression? ›

To be diagnosed with depression, an individual must have five depression symptoms every day, nearly all day, for at least 2 weeks. One of the symptoms must be a depressed mood or a loss of interest or pleasure in almost all activities. Children and adolescents may be irritable rather than sad.

Where should I go to check if I have depression? ›

Psychiatrist: A psychiatrist is also a medical doctor (MD) who is trained to assess, diagnose, and treat mental health disorders like depression.

What are 5 of the main symptoms of clinical depression? ›

The psychological symptoms of depression include:
  • continuous low mood or sadness.
  • feeling hopeless and helpless.
  • having low self-esteem.
  • feeling tearful.
  • feeling guilt-ridden.
  • feeling irritable and intolerant of others.
  • having no motivation or interest in things.
  • finding it difficult to make decisions.

What is the fastest way to stop depression? ›

Here are nine ways a depressed person can engage in self-help to overcome or reduce the symptoms of mild to moderate depression.
  1. Get Some Exercise. ...
  2. Challenge Negative Thoughts. ...
  3. Regularly Eat Wholesome Foods. ...
  4. Get Adequate Sleep. ...
  5. Drink Plenty of Water. ...
  6. Make a Change in Routine. ...
  7. Get a Routine. ...
  8. Laughter.

What are 3 main suggestions to do if a person is feeling depressed? ›

It also covers statements that someone who is depressed might find helpful to hear.
  1. Tell Them You Care.
  2. Remind Them You're There for Them.
  3. Ask How You Can Help.
  4. Urge Them to Talk to a Professional.
  5. Ask Them If They Want to Talk.
  6. Remind Them That They Matter.
  7. Tell Them You Understand (If You Really Do)
1 Nov 2022

What are the three treatments for depression? ›

Three of the more common methods used in depression treatment include cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, and psychodynamic therapy.

How often can you bill for depression screening? ›

Most insurances allow you to bill CPT code 96127 up to 4 times per year, up to 2 units per visit. Medicare does not specify the number of times per year that you can bill 96127, but it does state in their MUE documentation that you can bill up to 2 units per use.

How often should patients be screened for depression? ›

Patients with severe chronic medical illness are at higher risk for depression than the average patient seen in primary care….” VA/DoD Recommendations: The Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ) 2-item should be completed annually by all patients seen in primary care settings.

What is the code for mild depression? ›

F32 Depressive episode. In typical mild, moderate, or severe depressive episodes, the patient suffers from lowering of mood, reduction of energy, and decrease in activity.

What will happen if I am diagnosed with depression? ›

You might have difficult thoughts around the diagnosis. On top of that, you may also be dealing with the negative feelings like guilt and self-blame that are part of depression itself. You may also worry how others will react. With time, you will become an expert on your own mental health.

What will a doctor do before making a diagnosis of depression? ›

What Does the Doctor Look for to Make a Depression Diagnosis? A doctor can rule out other conditions that may cause depression with a physical examination, a personal interview, and lab tests. The doctor will also do a complete diagnostic evaluation, discussing any family history of depression or other mental illness.

What are 4 criteria used to diagnose depression? ›

DSM-5 Depression Diagnostic Criteria

Change in appetite, losing or gaining weight. Sleeping too much or not sleeping well (insomnia) Fatigue and low energy most days. Feeling worthless, guilty, and hopeless.

What are the 5 signs of mental illness? ›

Examples of signs and symptoms include:
  • Feeling sad or down.
  • Confused thinking or reduced ability to concentrate.
  • Excessive fears or worries, or extreme feelings of guilt.
  • Extreme mood changes of highs and lows.
  • Withdrawal from friends and activities.
  • Significant tiredness, low energy or problems sleeping.
8 Jun 2019

Is clinical depression a disability? ›

Depression is considered a psychiatric disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It's a significant mood disorder that's known to interfere with daily activities, which may include your ability to work. Depression sometimes becomes so severe that you can no longer go to work.

Do doctors over diagnose depression? ›

Over-Diagnosis and Over-Treatment of Depression Is Common in the U.S.

What is the number 1 leading cause of depression? ›

Research suggests that continuing difficulties – long-term unemployment, living in an abusive or uncaring relationship, long-term isolation or loneliness, prolonged work stress – are more likely to cause depression than recent life stresses.

What triggers a major depression episode? ›

While the exact causes of major depression are unknown, some risk factors include a family history of depression and significant life events such as trauma, times of high stress, loss of a job or relationship, or the death of a loved one.

What physically happens during depression? ›

Physical symptoms are common in major depression and may lead to chronic pain and complicate treatment. Symptoms associated with depression include joint pain, limb pain, back pain, gastrointestinal problems, fatigue, psychomotor activity changes, and appetite changes.

What vitamin is a natural antidepressant? ›

Vitamin B-3 and Vitamin B-9 can help people with depression because B vitamins help the brain manage moods. Vitamin D, melatonin and St. John's Wort are recommended for seasonal depression. Omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium and vitamin C may also help with depression.

What is the permanent cure for depression? ›

There's no cure for depression, but there are lots of effective treatments. People can recover from depression and live long and healthy lives.

Can you ever stop depression? ›

There's no cure for depression, but you still have plenty of options for treatment, all of which can improve your symptoms and minimize their impact on your daily life.

How do people with depression survive? ›

Diet and exercise

A healthy diet can help lift your mood. In fact, eating healthily seems to be just as important for maintaining your mental health as it is for preventing physical health problems. Research suggests that exercise may be as effective as antidepressants at reducing the symptoms of depression.

What are 2 reasons someone might not seek help for depression? ›

Why people don't seek treatment for depression
  • Fear and shame: People recognize the negative stigma and discrimination of being associated with a mental illness. ...
  • Lack of insight: When someone has clear signs of a mental illness but is convinced nothing is wrong, this is known as anosognosia.
28 Mar 2019

What is the first drug of choice for depression? ›

SSRIs are usually the first choice medicine for depression because they generally have fewer side effects than most other types of antidepressant. As well as depression, SSRIs can be used to treat a number of other mental health conditions, including: generalised anxiety disorder (GAD)

What is the drug of choice for depression? ›

SSRIs. This group of drugs, including fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), fluvoxamine (Luvox), citalopram (Celexa), escitalopram (Cipralex) and sertraline (Zoloft), is usually the first choice for treatment of depression and anxiety disorders.

What is the best antidepressant for severe depression? ›

Bupropion and mirtazapine are as effective as SSRIs and SNRIs. And both are considered first-choice options for treating depression. But trazodone may be a better choice if a person has both depression and insomnia (trouble sleeping).

Can a depression screening be done over the phone? ›

The administration of the PHQ for follow up can be done using phone calls and/or a smartphone application.5,6 Results from studies that have analyzed telephonic and electronic administration of the tool have demonstrated that these methods yield similar results to being administered in person.

When should screening for depression begin? ›

Recommendation Summary

The USPSTF recommends screening for major depressive disorder (MDD) in adolescents aged 12 to 18 years.

Who can perform G0444? ›

The reimbursement is relatively low, about $18 for the screening. Who can perform the service? This service could be done by a physician or non-physician practitioner (NPP).

What is the best depression assessment? ›

The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) is widely used to screen for depression and to measure behavioral manifestations and severity of depression. The BDI can be used for ages 13 to 80. The inventory contains 21 self-report items which individuals complete using multiple choice response formats.

What is the minimum time a depressive episode must last? ›

A depressive episode lasts at least two weeks, and the symptoms of depression are persistent and occur nearly every day for the duration of the episode. They cannot be explained by another medical condition or by substance abuse.

What is the minimum number of symptoms to qualify for a diagnosis of depression? ›

The DSM-5 outlines the following criterion to make a diagnosis of depression. The individual must be experiencing five or more symptoms during the same 2-week period and at least one of the symptoms should be either (1) depressed mood or (2) loss of interest or pleasure.

What does single episode in depression mean? ›

When a person has experienced only one episode of depression, it is classified as Major Depression, Single Episode. When multiple Major Depressive Episodes occur in a row, and no manic or mixed episodes are observed, the diagnoses changes to Major Depression, Recurrent.

How do you code depression with anxiety? ›

F41.

This category should be used when symptoms of anxiety and depression are both present, but neither is clearly predominant, and neither type of symptom is present to the extent that justifies a diagnosis if considered separately.

What is a major depression? ›

Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems.

What is a depression stick? ›

As part of the campaign, truth created a fake vape company called Depression Stick! to raise awareness of the fact that nicotine can worsen symptoms of anxiety and depression and underscore the mental health impact of real e-cigarette products like JUUL, Vuse, blu, Logic and NJOY, the leading e-cigarette brands popular ...

Can you get anything for depression? ›

Antidepressants are also sometimes prescribed. For moderate to severe depression, a combination of talking therapy and antidepressants is often recommended. If you have severe depression, you may be referred to a specialist mental health team for intensive specialist talking treatments and prescribed medicine.

What questions do they ask when testing for depression? ›

The two questions asked were as follows: (1) “During the past month, have you often been bothered by feeling down, depressed or hopeless?” and (2) “During the past month, have you often been bothered by little interest or pleasure in doing things?” The results of this two-question test were compared with those of other ...

Why is it so difficult to diagnose depression? ›

Diagnosing depression can be difficult as it can manifest very differently in different people, and at different times. Diagnosis may be delayed because 'symptoms' are non-specific or masked by other health problems.

Are there scans to detect depression? ›

A PET scan can compare brain activity during periods of depression (left) with normal brain activity (right). An increase of blue and green colors, along with decreased white and yellow areas, shows decreased brain activity due to depression.

What are the 5 levels of depression? ›

Depression can be described as mild, moderate or severe; melancholic or psychotic (see below).
  • Melancholia. This is the term used to describe a severe form of depression where many of the physical symptoms of depression are present. ...
  • Psychotic depression. ...
  • Antenatal and postnatal depression.

What is the gold standard for depression diagnosis? ›

The Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) has rapidly become the national and international gold standard measurement tool in major depression. Every treatment guideline around the world recommends use of measurement-based care.

What are the 5 characteristics of depression? ›

Below, we detail five warning signs of depression.
  • Unexplained Pain. Depression does not only affect a person's mental health. ...
  • Inability to Concentrate. Almost everyone experiences some brain fog and forgetfulness. ...
  • Too Much or Too Little Sleep. ...
  • Changes in Appetite. ...
  • Moodiness and Irritability.
10 Dec 2018

Can CPT be used for depression? ›

Cognitive processing therapy (CPT) is a manualized talk-therapy that has been used to reduce the burden of symptoms related to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and related conditions, including depression and anxiety.

What is a CPT code for mental health? ›

The codes related to mental health (codes 90785-90899) are found in the Psychiatry section of the CPT code set and cover services provided by medical professionals, such as psychiatrists, as well as services that can be delivered by non-medical professionals such as licensed clinical psychologists, licensed ...

What is the difference between 96160 and 96127? ›

Codes 96110, 96160, and 96161 are typically limited to developmental screening and the health risk assessment (HRA). However, code 96127 should be reported for both screening and follow-up of emotional and behavioral health conditions.

What is the correct ICD-10 code for depression? ›

ICD-10 Code: F33. 0 – Major Depressive Disorder, Recurrent, Mild. ICD-Code F33. 0 is a billable ICD-10 code used for healthcare diagnosis reimbursement of major depressive disorder.

How much does CPT therapy cost? ›

Cost of Cognitive Processing Therapy

On average, therapy sessions may range from $60-$250. Obviously, this is an extensive range, but the median cost is around $130 per session.

What does encounter for screening for depression mean? ›

31, “Encounter for screening for depression,” when screening for depression in patients at least 12 years old without reported symptoms. This is a preventive service defined under the Affordable Care Act and covered by many health plans.

What are Z codes in mental health? ›

The Z codes (Z00-Z99) provide descriptions for when the symptoms a patient displays do not point to a specific disorder but still warrant treatment. The Z codes serve as a replacement for V codes in the ICD-10 and are 3-6 characters long.

What diagnosis code is reported for unspecified depression? ›

F32. 9 MDD, single episode, unspecified, is equivalent to Depression Not Otherwise Specified (NOS), Depressive Disorder NOS and Major Depression NOS. This code should rarely be used and only when nothing else, such as the severity or episode, is known about the disorder.

Can I bill for a mini mental status exam? ›

How should I code a Mini Mental Status Exam (MMSE) performed as part of an office visit with a patient who is having memory problems? The physician administration, interpretation and written report associated with the MMSE is included in the E/M code for the patient encounter and cannot be billed separately.

Who can perform 96127? ›

Who can bill CPT code 96127? Screening and assessment has to be completed under an MD supervision, and a MD needs to file the report. It means that, for example, primary care physicians can also bill it – not only psychiatrists.

Who can use CPT code 96127? ›

CPT Code 96127 may be used to report behavioral assessments in children and adolescents. CPT code description (AMA published) definition: Brief emotional/behavioral assessment with scoring and documentation, per standardized instrument.

Is PHQ-9 diagnostic for depression? ›

In addition to making criteria-based diagnoses of depressive disorders, the PHQ-9 is also a reliable and valid measure of depression severity.

What are the 5 categories of depression? ›

Depression is a medical condition that affects your mood and ability to function. Depression types include clinical depression, bipolar depression, dysthymia, seasonal affective disorder and others. Treatment options range from counseling to medications to brain stimulation and complementary therapies.

What is a single episode of major depressive disorder? ›

A major depressive episode is a period of two weeks or longer in which a person experiences certain symptoms of major depression: feelings of sadness and hopelessness, fatigue, weight gain or weight loss, changes in sleeping habits, loss of interest in activities, or thoughts of suicide.

What are the clinical levels of depression? ›

Depression ranges in seriousness from mild, temporary episodes of sadness to severe, persistent depression. Clinical depression is the more-severe form of depression, also known as major depression or major depressive disorder.

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