Objective: Given the importance of depression as a world health problem, depression assessment should be standard practice in large-scale health surveys. The aim of the study was to construct a short matrix-version of the Edinburgh Depression Scale (EDS) that can be used in questionnaire studies.
Method: On the basis of the complete EDS scale of ten items, answered by 2730 women, stepwise multiple regression analysis was used to find the combination of items that explains the maximum proportion of the variance of the full scale sum score. The selected EDS items were thereafter correlated with the Hopkins Symptom Check List (SCL-25) for external validation.
Results: The sum of five selected items from the EDS correlated at r = 0.96 with the full version. The EDS-5 scores correlated strongly with the SCL-25 (r = 0.75).
Conclusion: The EDS-5 version shows good psychometric properties and may, for some scientific purposes, substitute the full EDS scale.