Measuring depression in South Korea: Validity and reliability of a brief questionnaire in the Korean Cancer Prevention Study

Hyoung Yoon Chang, Yee Jin Shin, G. David Batty, Dong Koog Son, Young Duk Yun, Sun Ha Jee, Yejin Mok, Jonathan M. Samet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objective: To examine the validity and reliability of a new questionnaire for measuring depression in a South Korean population, and then to estimate the prevalence of depression in that country using this tool. Methods: In total, 742,600 individuals (123,725 women), aged 30-64 years at entry into the Korean Cancer Prevention Study, completed a depression symptom in 1992 (baseline enrollment) and again in 1994. We examined the concurrent validity of the depression questionnaire by relating data from it to known socio-demographic and behavioral correlates of depression; its predictive capacity by relating scores from the questionnaire to the occurrence of future hospitalization for depression; and the test- retest reliability by comparing scores from its administration in 1992 to those in 1994. Results: The prevalence of major depression was 7.5%in men and 10.0%in women. Factors significantly related to major depression were being younger (men), being female, not being married, of lower socioeconomic status, being a smoker, a heavy drinker, and not exercising regularly. Men (hazard ratio; 95%confidence interval: 2.0; 1.8, 2.2) and women (1.6; 1.3, 1.9) with questionnaire-ascertained depression experienced an elevated risk of hospitalization for the disorder during follow-up. The rates of agreement between responses to 1992 and 1994 surveys were 91.3%in men and 88.3%in women. Conclusions: These findings imply validity of the instrument and support its use in future studies directed at links of depression with somatic disease endpoints. Limitation: The questions do not have a specified time frame of reference.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)760-765
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 25 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Depression
  • Epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Questionnaire

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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