instructions to physicians
The DSM-5 Level 2—Somatic Symptoms—Adult Scale is an adaptation of the 15-item Patient Health Questionnaire Physical Symptoms (PHQ-15) that assesses the domain of somatic symptoms.
The measure is completed by the individual (or his or her informant) before meeting the physician. If the person Those with reduced capacity and is unable to complete the form (for example, a person suffering from dementia), a knowledgeable informant can complete the measure.
Each item asks the individual (or informant) to rate the severity of the individual’s somatic symptom during the past 7 days.
Scoring and interpretation
Each item on the PHQ-15 is rated on a 3-point scale (0=not at all bothered; 1=a little bothered; 2=very bothered). The total score can range from 0 to 30, with higher scores indicating greater severity of somatic symptoms.
During the clinical interview, the clinician is asked to review the scores for each item on the scale and indicate the raw score for each item in a section provided for “clinician use.”
The raw scores on the 15 items should be summed and interpreted using an interpretation table to obtain a total raw score.
Note: A total score should not be calculated if 4 or more items on the PHQ-15 are left unanswered (i.e., more than 25% of the total items are missing).
Thus, the individual (or informant) should be encouraged to complete all items of the measurement. If 1 to 3 items are left unanswered, you should prorate the raw score by first summing the scores of the answered items to obtain a partial raw score.
Next, multiply the partial raw score by the total number of items on the measure (i.e., 15). Finally, dividing the value by The number of items that were actually answered was proportional to yield a total raw score.
frequency of use
Measurements can be completed at regular intervals as clinically indicated, depending on the stability of the individual’s symptoms and treatment status, to track changes in the severity of the individual’s somatic symptoms over time.
For the individual with impaired capacity, it is preferred that the measures be completed by the same knowledgeable informant at follow-up appointments.
Consistently high scores on a particular domain may indicate important and problematic areas for the patient that may require further evaluation, treatment, and follow-up. Your clinical judgment should guide your decision.