Psychometric network analysis of the Patient Health Questionnaire-4 (PHQ-4) in Paraguayan general population

Tomás Caycho-Rodríguez, Aaron Travezaño-Cabrera, Julio Torales, Iván Barrios, Lindsey W. Vilca, Antonio Samaniego-Pinho, Rodrigo Moreta-Herrera, Mario Reyes-Bossio, Nicol A. Barria-Asenjo, Jesús Ayala-Colqui, Cirilo H. Garcia-Cadena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Depression and anxiety are two of the most prevalent and disabling mental disorders worldwide, both in the general population and in outpatient clinical settings. Objective: This study aimed to analyze the psychometric properties of the Patient Health Questionnaire-4 (PHQ-4) based on network analysis metrics. Methods: A total of 911 Paraguayans (23.71% women and 76.29% men; mean age 31.25 years, SD = 10.63), selected by non-probabilistic convenience sampling, participated in the study. Network analysis was used to evaluate the internal structure, reliability, and measurement invariance between men and women. Results: The results revealed that the PHQ-4 is a unidimensional measure through Exploratory Graph Analysis (EGA). Reliability, through structural consistency, identified that 100% of the time, only a single dimension was obtained, and all items remained stable, as they were always replicated within the empirical dimension. The unidimensional structure has shown evidence of configural invariance; therefore, the network structure functioned equally among the different sex groups. Conclusion: The PHQ-4 presented optimal preliminary evidence of validity based on its internal structure, reliability, and invariance between sexes. Therefore, it may be useful as an accurate and brief measure of anxiety and depressive symptoms in the Paraguayan context.

Original languageEnglish
Article number15
JournalPsicologia: Reflexao e Critica
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2024


  • Invariance
  • Network psychometric analysis
  • Patient Health Questionnaire-4
  • Reliability
  • Validity


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