BACKGROUND: We examined whether a self-report measure of the DSM-5 anxious distress specifier, the Clinically Useful Depression Outcome Scale Anxious Distress Specifier Subscale (CUDOS-A), was as valid as a broader measure of the severity of anxiety, the Clinically Useful Anxiety Outcome Scale (CUXOS), in patients with depression.
METHODS: Two hundred ninety-four patients with major depressive disorder were administered a semi-structured interview. The patients completed self-report measures of depression, anxiety, and irritability. Sensitivity to change was examined in a subset of patients.
RESULTS: Both the CUDOS-A and CUXOS were more highly correlated with measures of anxiety than with measures of the other symptom domains. Patients with anxiety disorders scored significantly higher on both measures than did patients with no current anxiety disorder. Both measures were equally correlated with measures of coping, general well-being, and functioning. A large effect size of treatment was found for both measures (CUDOS-A: d = 1.2; CUXOS: d = 1.3).
CONCLUSIONS: Both the CUDOS-A and CUXOS were valid self-report measures of anxiety symptom severity in patients with depression. Because anxiety is common in patients with depression, the addition of a small number of items assessing the DSM-5 anxious distress criteria should be added to depression measures and used in measurement-based care efforts.