Remote Administration of Key Behavioral Health Assessment Tools: PHQ-9 and GAD-7

Better Outcomes Now (BON) is excited to announce that not only does the BON web application continue to allow remote administration of the Partners for Change Outcome Management System (PCOMS) measures from the client's own device, but the web application also now permits full remote functionality for administering two key behavioral health assessment tools for clients with depressive or anxiety symptoms -- the GAD-7 and PHQ-9. In addition to remote administration, the graphing of these scores and tracking of client progress are possible via BON.



The PHQ-9: A Behavioral Health Assessment Tool for Depression

The PHQ-9 is a nine-item screening tool for depression, in which each item is rated on a 0–3 scale, yielding a total depression severity score between 0 and 27. A cutoff score of 10 or above has been recommended to screen for major depression, and a difference of 6 or more points between assessments is indicative of reliable change. The PHQ-9 has become an important component of primary care, given that depression is the most prevalent behavioral health condition and the majority of adults diagnosed with depression ultimately receive treatment in primary care.

Routine depression screening via the PHQ-9 has been recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services now requires depression screening for patients seen in Federally Qualified Health Centers.

Here Is the PHQ-9 in the BON Web Application:

One of the key behavioral health assessment tools, the PHQ-9, shown in the Better Outcomes Now routine outcome monitoring web application


The GAD-7: A Behavioral Health Assessment Tool for Anxiety

The GAD-7 is one of the most frequently used scales for screening, diagnosis, and severity assessment of anxiety disorder. It can help clinicians determine the severity of a client's initial anxiety symptoms and aid in monitoring symptom changes throughout the course of therapy.

The GAD-7 has seven items that measure various signs of generalized anxiety disorder. GAD-7 scoring is calculated first by assigning scores of 0, 1, 2, and 3 to the response categories of 'not at all', 'several days', 'more than half the days', and 'nearly every day', respectively, and then adding together the scores for the seven questions.

Scores of 5, 10, and 15 are taken as the cut-off points for mild, moderate, and severe anxiety, respectively. When used as a screening tool, further evaluation is recommended when the score is 10 or greater.

Here Is a GAD-7 Graph in BON:

A graph of one of the key behavioral health assessment tools, the GAD-7, shown in the Better Outcomes Now routine outcome monitoring web application


Remote Administration Made Easy

The remote administration availability of PHQ-9 and GAD-7 provides the possibility of a well-rounded telehealth or telephonic screening process for the targeted use with clients presenting with depressive or anxiety symptoms.  With the Outcome Rating Scale, remote administration of the PHQ-9 and GAD-7 can help prioritize services (Read more).


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