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Open Access Open Badges Research article

The development of a knowledge test of depression and its treatment for patients suffering from non-psychotic depression: a psychometric assessment

Adel Gabriel1* and Claudio Violato2

Author Affiliations

1 University of Calgary and Calgary Health region, 2000 Pegasus Rd NE, Calgary AB T2E 8K7, Canada

2 Department Community Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, 3330 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary AB T2N 4N1, Canada

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BMC Psychiatry 2009, 9:56  doi:10.1186/1471-244X-9-56

Published: 15 September 2009



To develop and psychometrically assess a multiple choice question (MCQ) instrument to test knowledge of depression and its treatments in patients suffering from depression.


A total of 63 depressed patients and twelve psychiatric experts participated. Based on empirical evidence from an extensive review, theoretical knowledge and in consultations with experts, 27-item MCQ knowledge of depression and its treatment test was constructed. Data collected from the psychiatry experts were used to assess evidence of content validity for the instrument.


Cronbach's alpha of the instrument was 0.68, and there was an overall 87.8% agreement (items are highly relevant) between experts about the relevance of the MCQs to test patient knowledge on depression and its treatments. There was an overall satisfactory patients' performance on the MCQs with 78.7% correct answers. Results of an item analysis indicated that most items had adequate difficulties and discriminations.


There was adequate reliability and evidence for content and convergent validity for the instrument. Future research should employ a lager and more heterogeneous sample from both psychiatrist and community samples, than did the present study. Meanwhile, the present study has resulted in psychometrically tested instruments for measuring knowledge of depression and its treatment of depressed patients.