• Huntington's disease;
  • depression;
  • rating scales


The aim of this study was to assess the criterion validity of three self-report measures of depression in a sample of patients with Huntington's disease (HD). Fifty patients with HD completed the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II), the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), and the Depression Intensity Scale Circles (DISCs). Current psychiatric status was assessed using the schedules for clinical assessment in neuropsychiatry (SCAN), and ICD-10 diagnosis was used as the gold standard. Receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curves were obtained and the sensitivity, specificity, positive, and negative predictive values were calculated for different cut-off scores on each rating scale. Twelve patients (24%) met ICD-10 criteria for depressive disorder. The depression sub-scale of the HADS (HADS-D) at an optimal cut-off of 6/7 was found to discriminate maximally between depressed and nondepressed patients in this population. The DISCs at a cut-off of 1/2 also performed well at detecting possible “cases” of depression, whereas the BDI-II performed the least satisfactorily of all scales. The HADS-D and DISCs are good screening measures for depression in the HD population and the DISCs may be particularly useful in those patients with more severe communicative and cognitive deficits. © 2009 Movement Disorder Society