Depression Scale

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Questionnaires with a Likert scale for answering questions always have some items that need to be reverse scored(Van Sonderen, Sanderman &Coyne, 2013). For instance,a self-esteem questionnaire canhave some positively worded questions,and some negatively worded questions. In such a case, one might attribute the answer of strongly disagree with a score of 1, disagree = 2, neutral =3, agree = 4 and strongly disagree =5 for each question(Radloff, 1977). This situation is fine for all positively worded questions since it gives people with high self-esteem a great score. On the contrary, the same cannot be used on the scoring for the negatively worded questions. Instead, reverse scoring the negatively worded questions is done. This means that that the numerical score scale runs in the opposite side. Hence, in the above scenario, strongly agree attracts a score of 5, disagree attracts 4, neutral remains 3, agree turns 2 and strongly becomes = 1. This principle applies irrespective of the wording of Likert Scale used. Hence in:

CENTER FOR EPIDEMIOLOGIC STUDIES—DEPRESSION SCALE

Circle the number of each statement, which best describes how often you felt or behaved this way – DURING THE PAST WEEK.
  Rarely or none of the time (less than 1 day) Some or a little of the time (1-2 days) Occasionally or a moderate amount of the time (3-4 days) Most or all of the time (5-7 days)
During the past week:        
1) I was bothered by things that usually don’t bother me 0 1 2 3=0
2) I did not feel like eating; my appetite was poor 0 1=2 2 3
3) I felt that I could not shake off the blues even with help from my family and friends 0 1 2=1 3
4) I felt that I was just as good as other people 0 1 2 3
5) I had trouble keeping my mind on what I was doing 0 1 2 3=0
6) I felt depressed 0 1 2=1 3
7) I felt that everything I did was an effort 0 1 2 3
8) I felt hopeful about the future 0 1 2 3
9) I thought my life had been a failure 0 1=2 2 3
10) I felt fearful 0=3 1 2 3
11) My sleep was restless 0 1 2=1 3
12) I was happy 0 1 2 3
13) I talked less than usual 0 1 2=1 3
14) I felt lonely 0 1 2 3=0
15) People were unfriendly 0 1 2 3=0
16) I enjoyed life 0 1 2 3
17) I had crying spells 0 1 2 3=0
18) I felt sad 0 1 2=1 3
19) I felt that people disliked me 0 1 2 3=0
20) I could not get “going” 0 1 2=1 3

 From the above scores, the following items should be reverse scored:

1: I was bothered by things that usually don’t bother me=0

2: I did not feel like eating; my appetite was poor=2

3: I felt that I could not shake off the blues even with help from my family and friends=1

5:I had trouble keeping my mind on what I was doing=0

6:I felt depressed=1

9: I thought my life had been a failure=2

10: I felt fearful=3

11:My sleep was restless=1

13: I talked less than usual=1

14: I felt lonely=0

15:People were unfriendly=0

17:I had crying spells=0

18:I felt sad=1

19:I felt that people disliked me=0

20:I could not get “going”=1

  1. The total score is:

The positive worded scores remain unchanged (total of 7) while the reverse score amounts to 13 making atotal score of 20

 References

Radloff, L.S. (1977) The CES-D Scale: A self-report depression scale for research in the general population. Applied Psychological Measurement, 1, 385401

Van Sonderen, E., Sanderman, R., & Coyne, J.C. (2013): Ineffectiveness of reverse wording of   questionnaire items: Let’s learn from cows in the rain. PLOS One, 8(7), e6896



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