J Korean Geriatr Psychiatry.  2012 Jun;16(1):44-51.

A Research Using PHQ-15 on the Somatic Symptoms of the First Visiting Patients with Depressive Disorder at a University Hospital

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Kyunghee University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. jysongnp@hanmail.net
  • 2Health Insurance Review & Assessment Service, Review & Assessment Research Division, Seoul, Korea.


Somatic symptoms are mostly accompanied with depression and the evaluation about the aspect of somatic symptoms of depressive patients helps diagnose, treat and the prognosis. This clinical study was performed to acquire the characteristics of somatic symptoms of depression and their relations with other factors.
The PHQ-15 was administered to analyze the aspect and the frequency of somatic symptoms among depressive patients. In addition, the associations between the PHQ-15 score and BDI score, GARS score, sociodemographic factors and clinical characteristics were analyzed.
Of 201 patients, fatigue (93.6%) and sleep difficulty (81.7%) included in DSM-IV depression diagnosis category showed the most frequency. A headache (68.4%), gastrointestinal symptoms (79.8%) and unspecific pain (91.6%) were highly reported. PHQ-15 total score was significantly associated with female patients, blue-collar workers and unemployed state, higher GARS score, and the case consulted by other physicians. However, it was not significantly associated with the age.
In this study, headaches were significantly more common than gastrointestinal symptoms among patients with depression, and these findings suggest changes of somatic symptoms tendency of depressive patients in South Korea. A severity of somatic symptoms were associated with the female, high GARS score, blue-collar workers and at the case consulted by other physicians. In conclusion, the materials from PHQ-15 in somatic symptoms are valuable to diagnose and treat depressive patients.


Major depressive disorder; Somatic symptom; Patient Health Questionnare-15
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