Systematic Review: The Measurement Properties of the Children's Depression Rating Scale−Revised in Adolescents With Major Depressive Disorder

Emma Stallwood, Andrea Monsour, Craig Rodrigues, Suneeta Monga, Caroline Terwee, Martin Offringa, Nancy J. Butcher

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To systematically appraise existing evidence of the measurement properties of the Children's Depression Rating Scale−Revised (CDRS-R) in adolescents with major depressive disorder (MDD). The CDRS-R is the most commonly used scale in adolescent depression research, yet was originally designed for use in children 6 to 12 years old. Method: Seven databases were searched for studies that evaluated the measurement properties of the CDRS-R in adolescents (ages 12−18 years). Of 65 studies screened by full-text, 6 were included. Measurement properties were appraised using the COnsensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement INstruments (COSMIN) guidelines. The COSMIN minimum requirements for recommending the use of an outcome measurement instrument are (1) evidence for sufficient content validity (any level of evidence), and (2) at least low-quality evidence for sufficient internal consistency. Results: Four studies assessed an English-language version of the CDRS-R; the other 2 assessed German and Korean versions, respectively. No study assessed content validity, cross-cultural validity/measurement invariance, or measurement error of the CDRS-R in adolescents with MDD. Low-quality evidence was found for sufficient construct validity (n = 4 studies) and responsiveness (n = 2 studies) assessed via comparator instruments. Very-low−quality evidence was found for sufficient interrater reliability (n = 2 studies). The results for structural validity (n = 3 studies) and internal consistency (n = 5 studies) were inconclusive. Conclusion: It remains unclear whether the CDRS-R appropriately measures depressive symptom severity in adolescent MDD. Before use of the CDRS-R in adolescent MDD research can be recommended, evidence of sufficient psychometric properties in adolescents with MDD is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-133
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


  • Children's Depression Rating Scale−Revised
  • adolescent
  • major depressive disorder
  • measurement properties
  • outcome measurement instruments

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