Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-2)

Description of Instrument

The Patient Health Questionnaire-2 (PHQ-2) is a widely used, patient-reported, 2-item screening measure for depression (Kroenke et al., 2003). The 2 items inquire about the frequency of depressed mood and anhedonia over the past two weeks; PHQ-2 scores range from 0-6, with a score of 3 most often used as a cut-point when using the PHQ-2 to screen for major depression. The PHQ-2 shows good psychometric properties (e.g., validity, test-retest reliability) (Kroenke et al., 2010) and has been recommended as a core secondary outcome measure in chronic pain research (Kroenke et al., 2019).


Kroenke K, Krebs E, Turk D, et al. Core Outcome Measures for Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain Research: Recommendations from a Veterans Health Administration Work Group. Pain Med. 2019 Aug 1;20(8):1500-1508.

Kroenke K, Spitzer RL, Williams JB. The Patient Health Questionnaire‐2: Validity of a Two‐Item Depression Screener. Med Care. 2003, Nov;41(11):1284‐92.

Kroenke K(1), Spitzer RL, Williams JB, Löwe B. The Patient Health Questionnaire Somatic, Anxiety, and Depressive Symptom Scales: a systematic review. Gen Hosp Psychiatry. 2010 Jul‐Aug;32(4):345‐59.