Your help with something very important please

Once again, I’d love your help please.


Earlier this year the US Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) made a strong recommendation that every adult in the USA should be screened for depression.

This is huge.

It’s also pretty complicated.

Now, you and I both know how serious an issue depression is, and in fact here in the USA major depressive order affects 15.7 million adults in a given year – that’s about 6.7% of the population aged 18 and over.

Despite these huge numbers, though, nearly two out of three people suffering from depression receive no treatment of any kind.

Many have no contact with the healthcare system, ending up “muddling through” or trying to treat themselves.

Imagine doing that if you had a broken leg rather than a mood disorder.

So I think screening everyone makes a lot of sense, at least on paper.

Where it gets complicated, though, is that you obviously can’t just do it once, because you’d miss all those who weren’t currently suffering, but might be in a week, a month, or a year’s time.

It seeems to me that some kind of regular ‘checkup’ is therefore crucial .

However, look at the currently available screening tools and you may agree that asking someone once a week, for example, if they ‘had thoughts that they would be better off dead or of hurting themselves in some way’, might in itself trigger negative thoughts.

A depression test that leaves you feeling more depressed?

It doesn’t seem such a great idea to me.

But it got me thinking.

My new book contains a daily questionnaire which rates your emotional, physical and social health, giving you an overall well-being score, and it does this in order to direct you to one of three tailored “nudges” – some action you could take today to help you feel better tomorrow.

It therefore gives people a benefit from taking the test each day.

So what if “my” test actually correlates with the scores you’d get from answering one of the big, existing, tried-and-tested depression tests?

In this way we’d end up with a screening tool that people could actually use EVERY DAY – not just once every few months.


Okay, why don’t you and I put this idea to the test?

Please click on the link below to take two brief tests at the same time: the well-being test from “Nudge Your Way to Happiness” and the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ–9), one of the tools recommended by the USPSTF.

Once I have a bunch of data, I can explore how the two tests relate to one another, then report back.

Thank you.

7 thoughts on “Your help with something very important please

  1. Eeer …. just to say that I avoided doing your ‘test’ either on days when I wasn’t feeling so good – because I didn’t want to see the ‘bad’ results in front of me.
    The wording of the questions is very important. I took out a funeral plan a few years ago and arranged to pay by monthly direct debit, so each month on my bank statement there was an item ‘FUNERAL PLAN’ £250. I couldn’t stand reading this each month so phoned them up and paid the whole lot in full so I don’t have to see it.

  2. Hi Jon. Just did the questionnaire and I see what you mean about possibly feeling worse after the official one! ! We have a different lot of questions here in nz but similar. Your officiate one almost “puts thought of doom and gloom”into my head. :/ Having read your demo of “nudge your way to happiness” I really like your approach which I feel is more useful across the board, could be used by so very many health professionals. One massive difference saw between the two that may or may not throw a spanner in the works is that yours is for “right now/today” and the other is for “the last 2 weeks”. That changes my answers for each from the get go. Great idea of yours here.

  3. You make an excellent point about the potential of feeling somewhat worse after taking one of the “official” depression screening measures. As a therapist, I find the PHQ-9 quite “clunky” for many clients and instead use your WellBee cards (which is essentially what your Nudge well-being test is) during our weekly check ins. I sometimes use David Burns depression or anxiety checklists if I am trying to determine the degree to which someone might be experiencing depressing or anxious feelings. His checklists ask specific questions and rate the severity much like you do instead of a guesstimate of “how often.” At any rate, I really love the direction your book is going and can’t wait til it’s available, Jon!

  4. Woah! The first part made me feel good about myself…after completing the second part I feel like I’ve been miserable for the past 2 weeks! I really haven’t! Being in a positive frame of mind, I recognise this isn’t true-but if I was feeling negative life wouldn’t feel rosy!

  5. Hey Jon,
    Did feel worse with the second test. I feel that having more choices (1st) made me feel that these feelings weren’t just black and white/ good or bad. It made me feel like there were less options on how everyone else may be feeling. Don’t know if this makes sense but hope it helps.

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