A revised CES-D measure of depressive symptoms and a DSM-based measure of major depressive episodes in the elderly

Int Psychogeriatr. 1999 Jun;11(2):139-48. doi: 10.1017/s1041610299005694.


This study examines the psychometric properties of two new abbreviated versions of standard measures of depression, a revised eight-item Center for Epidemiological Studies-Depression Scale (CES-D) and a short-form Composite International Diagnostic Interview (short-form CIDI). A sample of 6,133 elders, age 70 years or older, completed both measures as part of the Asset and Health Dynamics Study of the Oldest Old. The revised CES-D had an internal consistency and factor structure comparable to that of prior versions of the CES-D. The sources of discordance between the two measures were examined and the two measures were compared on self-report of four clinical variables: medical illness, physician diagnosis, psychiatric treatment, and antidepressant or tranquilizer use. Both measures were associated with self-report of physician diagnosis and psychiatric treatment. Respondents positive for depression on the CES-D reported higher rates of antidepressant use. Respondents positive on the short-form CIDI only did not report more antidepressant use than nondepressed respondents.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antidepressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Depression / diagnosis*
  • Depression / drug therapy
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder, Major / drug therapy
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales*
  • Psychometrics / statistics & numerical data
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*


  • Antidepressive Agents