Depression screening tools for patients with kidney failure a systematic review

Karli Kondo, Jennifer R. Antick, Chelsea K. Ayers, Devan Kansagara, Pavan Chopra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Background and objectives Patients with kidney failure experience depression at rates higher than the general population. Despite the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ ESRD Quality Incentive Program requirements for routine depression screening for patients with kidney failure, no clear guidance exists. Design, setting, participants, & measurements For this systematic review, we searched MEDLINE, PsycINFO, and other databases from inception to June 2020. Two investigators screened all abstracts and full text. We included studies assessing patients with kidney failure and compared a tool to a clinical interview or another validated tool (e.g., Beck Depression Inventory II). We abstracted data related to sensitivity and specificity, positive and negative predictive value, and the area under the curve. We evaluated the risk of bias using the Quality Assessment of Diagnostic Accuracy Studies 2. Results A total of 16 studies evaluated the performance characteristics of depression assessment tools for patients with kidney failure. The Beck Depression Inventory II was by far the best studied. A wide range of thresholds were reported. Shorter tools in the public domain such as the Patient Health Questionnaire 9 and Geriatric Depression Scale 15 (adults over 60) performed well but were not well studied. Short tools such as the Beck Depression Inventory–Fast Screen may be a good option for an initial screen. Conclusions There is limited research evaluating the diagnostic accuracy of most screening tools for depression in patients with kidney failure, and existing studies may not be generalizable to US populations. Studies suffer from limitations related to methodology quality and/or reporting. Future research should target widely used, free tools such as the Patient Health Questionnaire 2 and the Patient Health Questionnaire 9. Clinical Trial registry name and registration number: Systematic Review Registration: PROSPERO CRD42020140227.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1785-1795
Number of pages11
JournalClinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 7 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Nephrology
  • Transplantation


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