DEPRESSION IN RUSSIA AND GERMANY: A TRANSCULTURAL STUDY
 
Hodapp, V., Bongard, S. and Sosnovskaya, N., J. W. Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main, Germany
 
Transcultural research has shown that the disorder of depression does exist all over the world. Nevertheless, the debate between a universalistic or relativistic position has led to serious controversies. Although key symptoms of depression have been described in the literature and standardized classification procedures have been developed, international surveys could demonstrate transcultural diversities. The aim of the present study was to test a standardized screening procedure, the Depression Screening Questionnaire (DIA-X; Wittchen & Perkonigg, 1997), for discriminating Russian and German depressive and non-depressive patients. The design was chosen as a matched-diagnosis design: a sample of Russian (n = 56) and German psychiatric patients (n = 53) were classified according to the clinical diagnosis of depression. For control non-depressive patients (n = 18 Germans, n = 28 Russians) and Russian patients living in Germany were investigated (n = 19).Based on the cutoff score of the German scale the German as well as the Russian DSQ discriminated between depressive and non-depressive patients. The sensitivity index of the Russian DSQ even was higher than the index of the German scale (80,4 % correct classification). Nevertheless, some differences in the frequency and pattern of symptoms were observed. Russian depressives showed disturbances in concentration and memory whereas German depressives were characterized by cognitions of guilt and feelings of worthlessness. Migrants resemble more German depressives than Russian patients. Results are discussed within the framework of transcultural depression. Reference: Wittchen, H. U., & Perkonigg, A. (1997). DIA-X Depression Screening Questionnaire (DSQ). Frankfurt am Main: Swets Test Services.