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The WHQ and the BDI-II
A comparison of the WHQ and the BDI-II in a Sample of Postmenopausal Women

Marte Rye Heimdal, Cand. Psychol1, Annbjørg Dørmænen, Cand. Psychol1, Catharina Elisabeth Arfwedson Wang, PhD1, Sameline Grimsgaard, MD, PhD, MPH2 

1University of Tromsø, Department of Psychology, Norway
2Clinical Research Centre, University Hospital of North Norway, Tromsø, Norway and University of Tromsø, The National Research
Center in Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Norway 

Keywords: BDI-II, depression, HR-QOL, postmenopausal women, WHQ

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The relationship between health related quality of life (HR-QoL) and depression was investigated in a subsample of the
Acuflash study, by examining the correlation between two well known instruments assessing the two concepts, the Women’s Health Questionnaire (WHQ), and the Beck Depression Inventory, 2nd edition (BDI-II). The results showed significant correlations between the two instruments, suggesting that lower HR-QoL was associated with severity of depression. The results also provide concurrent validity for the WHQ Depression subscale which correlates highly with the BDI-II (r=0.72, p<0.001). This may indicate some overlap between the two concepts.



Health related quality of life (HR-QoL) integrates both psychological and physical aspects of well-being in one concept. The Women’s Health Questionnaire1 (WHQ) is a selfreport instrument assessing HR-QoL. It was developed specifically

developed specifically to measure subjective reports of emotional and physical well-being of women in mid life, and has been standardized on a sample of women aging from 45 to 65 years old. The WHQ covers the following dimensions: depressed mood, somatic symptoms, anxiety/fear, vasomotor symptoms, sleep problems, sexual behavior, menstrual symptoms, memory/concentration and attractiveness. The WHQ has mainly been used in evaluation of the efficacy of medical and non-medical interventions for specific symptoms and upon health related quality of life of mid-aged women.2
While most women do not develop depression during the menopausal tranisition,3-4 several studies have established that for some women, the menopause transition period confers an increased risk for development of mood disorders compared with the premenopausal period.5-13


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