What is a Depression Scale?
are useful tools that, more often than not, come in the form of questionnaires that were created to gauge the severity of a person’s depression. These scales aren’t there to diagnose depression in people. Instead, what it does is assign a score based on answers and particular score ranges to help determine the focus for upcoming appointments between psychologists and their clients.
Some depression scales are primarily worked on by healthcare practitioners, and what they normally do is observe and interview their patients. Some come in the form of self-assessments and are issued to patients for them to answer themselves. There are also depression scales that are worked on by both the practitioner and the patient!
For this particular guide, we’ll be focusing on the Kutcher Adolescent Depression Scale (KADS-11), which comes in the form of a self-assessment! It is a more comprehensive version of the KADS-6.
How to use the Kutcher Adolescent Depression Scale (KADS-11):
The Kutcher Adolescent Depression Scale was developed by Stan Kutcher, and it was designed to gauge adolescents and their levels of depression.
It was also created using language and phrasing that may be common in their age group to better assist them as they go about the assessment.
Have your adolescent patients rate themselves using this depression scale.
Once you’ve begun your appointments with your adolescent clients and you’re at the point where you need to gauge the severity of their depression, issue this self-assessment to them.
Make sure to instruct them on how to go about it.
It’s fairly easy to use since they simply have to think about themselves based on the following aspects:
- Low mood, sadness, feeling blah or down, depressed, just can't be bothered
- Irritable, losing your temper easily, feeling pissed off, losing it
- Sleep Difficulties - different from your usual (over the years before you got sick): trouble falling asleep, lying awake in bed
- Feeling Decreased Interest In: hanging out with friends; being with your best friend; being with your partner/boyfriend/girlfriend; going out of the house; doing school work or work; doing hobbies or sports or recreation
- Feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, letting people down, not being a good person
- Feeling tired, feeling fatigued, low in energy, hard to get motivated, having to push to get things done, want to rest or lie down a lot
- Trouble concentrating, can't keep your mind on schoolwork or work, daydreaming when you should be working, hard to focus when reading, getting "bored" with work or school
- Feeling that life is not very much fun, not feeling good when usually (before getting sick) would feel good, not getting as much pleasure from fun things as usual (before getting sick)
- Feeling worried, nervous, panicky, tense, keyed up, anxious
- Physical feelings of worry, like headaches, butterflies, nausea, tingling, restlessness, diarrhea, shakes, or tremors
- Thoughts, plans, or actions about suicide or self-harm
They will answer these prompts by rating themselves with any one of the following per item:
- Hardly ever = 0 points
- Much of the time = 1 point
- Most of the time = 2 points
- All of the time = 3 points
Tally the score and create a plan for your client.
Once they’ve submitted a fully-accomplished assessment, the next step is to tally the score. This particular depression scale doesn’t have rating ranges or designations, but the higher the score, the more likely it is that the client has a high or severe level of depression.
The total score should help you frame what you think is best for your client for the foreseeable future as they go through your treatment plan.
Kutcher Adolescent Depression Scale Example (Sample):
Here’s a filled-out Kutcher Adolescent Depression Scale example, to help give you deeper insight into what the assessment may look like when it has been completed.
When would you typically use the Kutcher Adolescent Depression Scale (KADS-11)?
The Kutcher Adolescent Depression Scale (KADS-11) can be used as soon as you decide you need to gauge your client’s depression severity. This could be at the very beginning of your program with them!
This also isn’t a one-off thing. Let’s say they’ve already received a diagnosis for their depression, and you’re already in the middle of a treatment plan. You can still reissue this every once in a while to monitor if there have been any changes in their symptoms.
Reissuing this scale every now and then will help you determine if your plan is working or not and, based on the results, if you need to make any changes to it.
Who can use this printable Kutcher Adolescent Depression Scale (KADS-11)?
The following healthcare practitioners can use the Kutcher Adolescent Depression Scale for their respective practices:
- (Clinical) psychologists
- (Mental health) therapists
What are the benefits of using the Kutcher Adolescent Depression Scale (KADS-11)?
Aside from being beneficial to psychologists, the Kutcher Adolescent Depression Scale might benefit the adolescent client as well!
Since adolescents will be the ones answering the assessment, they’re going to be thinking about certain aspects of their lives, especially with their depression. This could lead them to reflect on which parts of their lives are not exactly going well. They are going to be going through a treatment plan for their depression, so might get inspired to focus on certain aspects of their life that might speed up the process of getting better and healthier, mentally.
It also provides a comprehensive picture concerning the mental health state of individuals to improve their depressive symptoms. Healthcare professionals can benefit from a good gauge, that covers multiple aspects with the 11 items. Previous versions tend to include 6 items, however, this is the adjusted version that allows for more evaluations on predictive factors for depression.
Why use Carepatron for depression software?
Here at Carepatron, we care about helping healthcare practitioners improve productivity and efficiency, especially when it comes to streamlining their clinical documentation. By taking advantage of our easy-to-navigate EHR system, you’ll gain access to a wide variety of depression scale assessments such as the Kutcher Adolescent Depression Scale (KADS-11).
Using our assessments will help assist you with gauging your patient’s depression severity. These assessments should also aid in helping you determine the next course of care program, whether it’s diagnosing them, determining what medicine to use, and other actionable steps that may assist to help the client work through their condition!
You can even store these assessments in a HIPAA-compliant manner and secure them by setting up who can access these documents besides you.
Not only are our depression software and assessments intuitive, but they’re also easily accessible! Whether you’re using an office desktop, a laptop, or even just your phone, you can access your depression scale assessments anytime, anywhere!