Geriatric Depression Scale

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The Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) is a 30-item self-report assessment used to identify depression in the elderly. The scale was first developed in 1982 by J.A. Yesavage and others.[1]

Description[edit]

The GDS questions are answered "yes" or "no", instead of a five-category response set. This simplicity enables the scale to be used with ill or moderately cognitively impaired individuals. The scale is commonly used as a routine part of a comprehensive geriatric assessment. One point is assigned to each answer and the cumulative score is rated on a scoring grid.[2] The grid sets a range of 0-9 as "normal", 10-19 as "mildly depressed", and 20-30 as "severely depressed".

A diagnosis of clinical depression should not be based on GDS results alone. Although the test has well-established reliability and validity evaluated against other diagnostic criteria, responses should be considered along with results from a comprehensive diagnostic work-up. A short version of the GDS (GDS-SF) containing 15 questions has been developed,[3] and the scale is available in languages other than English. The conducted research found the GDS-SF to be an adequate substitute for the original 30-item scale.[4]

The GDS was validated against Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression (HRS-D) and the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS). It was found to have a 92% sensitivity and a 89% specificity when evaluated against diagnostic criteria. [5]

Scale questions and scoring[edit]

The scale consists of 30 yes/no questions. Each question is scored as either 0 or 1 points. The following general cutoff may be used to qualify the severity:

  • normal 0-9,
  • mild depressives 10-19,
  • severe depressives 20-30.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Yesavage JA, Brink TL, Rose TL, et al. Development and validation of a geriatric depression screening scale: a preliminary report. J Psychiatr Res. 1982-83;17(1):37-49. PMID 7183759
  2. ^ "Geriatric Depression Scale". 
  3. ^ Sheikh JI, Yesavage JA. Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS): recent evidence and development of a shorter version. Clin Gerontol. 1986 June;5(1/2):165-173.
  4. ^ Lesher EL, Berryhill JS. Validation of the Geriatric Depression Scale-Short Form among inpatients. J Clin Psychol. 1994 Mar;50(2):256-60. PMID 8014251
  5. ^ Yesavage JA, Brink TL, Rose TL, et al. Development and validation of a geriatric depression screening scale: a preliminary report. J Psychiatr Res. 1982-83;17(1):37-49. PMID 7183759