Web-Based Measure of Life Events Using Computerized Life Events and Assessment Record (CLEAR): Preliminary Cross-Sectional Study of Reliability, Validity, and Association With Depression.
Bifulco A., Spence R., Nunn S., Kagan L., Bailey-Rodriguez D., Hosang GM., Taylor M., Fisher HL.
BACKGROUND: Given the criticisms of life event checklists and the costs associated with interviews, life event research requires a sophisticated but easy-to-use measure for research and clinical practice. Therefore, the Computerized Life Events and Assessment Record (CLEAR), based on the Life Events and Difficulties Schedule (LEDS), was developed. OBJECTIVE: The objective of our study was to test CLEAR's reliability, validity, and association with depression. METHODS: CLEAR, the General Health Questionnaire, and the List of Threatening Experiences Questionnaire (LTE-Q) were completed by 328 participants (126 students; 202 matched midlife sample: 127 unaffected controls, 75 recurrent depression cases). Test-retest reliability over 3-4 weeks was examined and validity determined by comparing CLEAR with LEDS and LTE-Q. Both CLEAR and LTE-Q were examined in relation to depression. RESULTS: CLEAR demonstrated good test-retest reliability for the overall number of life events (0.89) and severe life events (.60). Long-term problems showed similar findings. In terms of validity, CLEAR severe life events had moderate sensitivity (59.1%) and specificity (65.4%) when compared with LEDS. CLEAR demonstrated moderate sensitivity (43.1%) and specificity (78.6%) when compared with LTE-Q. CLEAR severe life events and long-term problems were significantly associated with depression (odds ratio, OR 3.50, 95% CI 2.10 to 5.85, P<.001; OR 3.38, 95% CI 2.02 to 5.67, P<.001, respectively), whereas LTE-Q events were not (OR 1.06, 95% CI 0.43 to 2.60, P=.90). CONCLUSIONS: CLEAR has acceptable reliability and validity and predicts depression. It, therefore, has great potential for effective use in research and clinical practice identifying stress-related factors for the onset and maintenance of depression and related disorders.