Open Access Research article

Chronic depression: development and evaluation of the luebeck questionnaire for recording preoperational thinking (LQPT)

Tanja Kühnen1*, Franziska Knappke1, Tanja Otto1, Stephanie Friedrich1, Jan P Klein1, Kai G Kahl3, Michael Hüppe2, Valerija Sipos1 and Ulrich Schweiger1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Luebeck, Ratzeburger Allee 160, 23538 Luebeck, Germany

2 Department of Anesthesiology, University of Luebeck, Ratzeburger Allee 160, 23538 Luebeck, Germany

3 Department of Psychiatry, Social Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Carl-Neuberg-Straße 1, 30625 Hannover, Medical School, Germany

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BMC Psychiatry 2011, 11:199  doi:10.1186/1471-244X-11-199

Published: 20 December 2011



A standardized instrument for recording the specific cognitive psychopathology of chronically depressed patients has not yet been developed. Up until now, preoperational thinking of chronically depressed patients has only been described in case studies, or through the external observations of therapists. The aim of this study was to develop and evaluate a standardized self-assessment instrument for measuring preoperational thinking that sufficiently conforms to the quality criteria for test theory.


The "Luebeck Questionnaire for Recording Preoperational Thinking (LQPT)" was developed and evaluated using a german sample consisting of 30 episodically depressed, 30 chronically depressed and 30 healthy volunteers. As an initial step the questionnaire was subjected to an item analysis and a final test form was compiled. In a second step, reliability and validity tests were performed.


Overall, the results of this study showed that the LQPT is a useful, reliable and valid instrument. The reliability (split-half reliability 0.885; internal consistency 0.901) and the correlations with other instruments for measuring related constructs (control beliefs, interpersonal problems, stress management) proved to be satisfactory. Chronically depressed patients, episodically depressed patients and healthy volunteers could be distinguished from one another in a statistically significant manner (p < 0.001).


The questionnaire fulfilled the classical test quality criteria. With the LQPT there is an opportunity to test the theory underlying the CBASP model.