Effect of age on geriatric depression scale performance in Parkinson's disease

Mov Disord. 2007 Jul 15;22(9):1331-5. doi: 10.1002/mds.21369.


The purpose of this study was to compare the validity of the 15-item Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS-15) in nonelderly (<65 years), young-elderly (age, 65-75), and old-elderly (>75 years) patients with Parkinson's disease (PD). 57 nonelderly, 88 young-elderly, and 81 old-elderly PD patients were administered the GDS-15 and the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV depression module. Receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curves were plotted for GDS-15 scores against a DSM-IV diagnosis of major or minor depression. The discriminant validity of the GDS-15 was high for nonelderly, young-elderly, and old-elderly subjects (ROC area under curve = 0.92, 0.91, and 0.95, respectively), with optimal dichotomization at a cut-off of 4/5 (85% sensitivity and 84% specificity in nonelderly; 89% sensitivity and 82% specificity in young-elderly) and 5/6 (90% sensitivity and 90% specificity in old-elderly). In conclusion, the GDS-15 has comparable validity in younger and older PD patients, suggesting its appropriateness as a depression screening instrument in PD patients of all ages.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Depression / diagnosis*
  • Depression / etiology*
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Parkinson Disease / complications*
  • ROC Curve
  • Severity of Illness Index*