Codes and Frequencies
For sample adults age 18+ who (1) lost interest in pleasurable activities (DEPLIFUN), (2) for all day long, most of the day, or about half the day (DEPLIDAYAMT), (3) for every day or almost every day (DEPLIHOWOFT), for 2+ weeks during the past 12 months, DEPLITOLDDR reports responses to the question, "Did you tell a doctor about these problems?" Interviewers informed respondents, "By 'doctor' I mean either a medical doctor or osteopath, or a student in training to be either a medical doctor or osteopath."
Related Variables for Scoring Major Depression
Respondents only received the question associated with DEPLITOLDDR if they failed to pass a series of screening questions on major depression with dysphoric mood (feeling sad, blue, or depressed) (DEP2WKEV, DEPDAYAMT, DEPHOWOFT).
Respondents did not pass these screening questions if they:
- Did not feel sad, blue, or depressed for 2+ weeks in a row (a "No" in DEP2WKEV); or
- Volunteered in DEP2WKEV that they were on medication/anti-depressants; or
- Reported that their feeling sad, blue, or depressed lasted "Less than half of the day" in DEPDAYAMT; or
- Reported that their feeling sad, blue, or depressed lasted "Less often" in DEPHOWOFT; or
- Had an unknown response in DEP2WKEV, DEPDAYAMT, or DEPHOWOFT.
For more information on the dysphoric mood questions, see DEP2WKEV.
DEPLITOLDDR was part of a series of mental health questions constituting the NHIS version of the Composite International Diagnostic Interview - Short Form (CIDI-SF) screening scale for major depression. More specifically, DEPLITOLDDR was part of a group of questions on major depression with anhedonia (loss of interest in pleasurable activities).
According to the Field Representative's Manual for 1999, this set of questions was included "to determine if the Sample Adult has had or still has a loss of interest in things, indicating undiagnosed depression, in the past 12 months and, if so, how it affected them physically and emotionally, how long it has affected them, how they dealt with these problems, and how much these problems interfered with their life or activities."
After passing three screening questions (DEPLIFUN, DEPLIDAYAMT, DEPLIHOWOFT), respondents received an additional series of questions addressing symptoms of depression related to anhedonia. DEPLITOLDDR is part of a series of supplemental questions asked of respondents who experienced at least one symptom of depression with anhedonia.
To be asked the question associated with DEPLITOLDDR, respondents had to report experiencing one of the following symptoms:
- Felt more lethargic than usual ("Yes" in DEPLILETH)
- Weight changed 10+ pounds ("Gain," "Lose," or "Volunteered 'both gained and lost weight'" in DEPLIWT and "10+" in DEPLIWTAMT or "Yes" in DEPLIWT10)
- Had trouble sleeping every night or nearly every night ("Yes" in DEPLINSOM and "Every night" or "Nearly every night" in DEPLINSOMOFT)
- Had trouble concentrating ("Yes" in DEPLICONCEN)
- Felt worthless or no good ("Yes" in DEPLINOGOOD)
- Thought about death ("Yes" in DEPLISUICID)
The reference period for these symptoms was the two-week period during the past 12 months when respondents had the most complete loss of interest in things. Respondents who reported experiencing one or more of these symptoms were asked the series of supplemental questions that included DEPLITOLDDR (Told doctor about losing interest in activities 2+ weeks during the past 12 months). Before reading the first supplemental question, the interviewer stated, "To review, you had two weeks in a row during the past 12 months when you lost interest in most things and also had some other feelings or problems like:" and read up to three of the symptoms the respondent reported experiencing.
In addition to DEPLITOLDDR, supplemental questions were asked about the following:
- Total number of weeks lost interest in activities during past 12 months (DEPLIWKNO)
- Most recent month lost interest in activities 2+ weeks (DEPLIWHENMO)
- Most recent year, 1998-2000, lost interest in activities 2+ weeks (DEPLIWHENYR)
- Told health professional about losing interest in activities 2+ weeks during the past 12 months (DEPLITOLDHP)
- Used medication/drugs/alcohol to cope with loss of interest in activities (DEPLIDRUGALC)
- Amount loss of interest in activities 2+ weeks during the past 12 months interfered with life (DEPLIINTFERE)
Although a part of the NHIS CIDI-SF screening scale for major depression, DEPLITOLDDR and the other supplemental questions listed above were not used in calculating major depression scores, but rather provide information about how long respondents were affected and the impact of symptoms on their lives.
In contrast, answers to the symptom questions can be used to calculate the probability of psychiatric caseness for major depression with anhedonia. For more information on the other CIDI-SF variables and for instructions on how to calculate scores for major depression with anhedonia, see DEPLIFUN.
This variable only occurs in 1999.
In 1999, a similar question, "Did you tell a doctor about these problems?" (DEPTOLDDR), was asked of sample adults age 18+ who passed the screening questions for major depression with dysphoric mood (feeling sad, blue, or depressed) (DEP2WKEV, DEPDAYAMT, DEPHOWOFT) and who reported experiencing at least one symptom of major depression with dysphoric mood. Respondents who received the question associated with DEPTOLDDR were not asked about symptoms of depression related to anhedonia, and therefore did not answer the question for DEPLITOLDDR.
- 1999: Sample adults age 18+ who either did NOT feel sad/blue/depressed all day long, most of the day, or about half of the day, every day or almost every day, for 2+ weeks during past 12 months, OR were on medication/anti-depressants OR whose feelings of being sad/blue/depressed, or the duration of these feelings, or the frequency of these feelings is unknown AND lost interest in activities at least half of the day for at least almost every day for 2+ weeks during the past 12 months AND experienced 1+ symptoms of major depression.
- 1999 : SAMPWEIGHT