Meaning and use of example answer lists


I want to code the variable “Little interest or pleasure in doing things in last 2 weeks” of the patient health questionnaire (belonging to panel 69723-5). I found the code 44250-9 that accurately reflects the concept, but the proposed example answer list (LL361-7: yes/no) does not suffice.

In the study I am working on, the answers of this question are not at all , several days, more than half the days, nearly every day. This answer list can be found for many other questions of the same panel (Normative Answer List: LL358-3). Since the yes/no answer list is described as an example answer list, is it valid to take the concept 44250-9 and apply the answer list LL358-3 or can I only use the yes/no values?

Any answer would help a lot. Thank you very much for your time!

Edit: How come that when I open the panel 69723-5 and look under 44250-9 the coding as I want it appears as normative list, but when I open the code in a seperate window the example list with yes/no answers appears?


1 Like

HI Ivona,

Since the only answer list assigned to LOINC 44250-9 is an example answer list, it does not appear that there is a normative answer list bound to the LOINC code for a given panel.

If 44250-9 is part of PHQ-9 and has a normative answer list, ideally it would help the community if you would submit a change request to have it fixed. That being said, if an ORD/NOM LOINC code either has no assigned answer list or only has an example answer list, then you can assign the appropriate answer list for your organization or for the normative survey in which it is being used.

I hope this helps.


Hi John,

thank you for your reply, it truly helps a lot! I am working with the long form of the PHQ but as far as I can see in the LOINC browser 44250-9 is part of PHQ 9 and already has a normative answer list (see panel 44249-1). So no changes should be necessary.

Thanks and best!

1 Like

Hi Ivona,

I did not realize you were using LOINC code 44250-9 in relation to panel 44249-1. In this particular case, you are correct the normative answer list is present, as long as you are only using the values on the normative answer list, then no changes would be made.

Something to keep in mind is that when mixing data from different sources for LOINC code 44250-9, unless it is in the context of panel 44249-1 you may potentially end up with answer is the dataset that are not part of the normative answer list. For this reason, you may want to confirm that all LOINC codes associated with panel 44249-1 maintain that context as the data flows from the EHR out through an HL7 Electronic message or downstream to a data warehouse.


1 Like