Ascertaining late-life depressive symptoms in Europe: an evaluation of the survey version of the EURO-D scale in 10 nations. The SHARE project

Int J Methods Psychiatr Res. 2008;17(1):12-29. doi: 10.1002/mpr.236.


The reported prevalence of late-life depressive symptoms varies widely between studies, a finding that might be attributed to cultural as well as methodological factors. The EURO-D scale was developed to allow valid comparison of prevalence and risk associations between European countries. This study used Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) and Rasch models to assess whether the goal of measurement invariance had been achieved; using EURO-D scale data collected in 10 European countries as part of the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) (n = 22,777). The results suggested a two-factor solution (Affective Suffering and Motivation) after Principal Component Analysis (PCA) in 9 of the 10 countries. With CFA, in all countries, the two-factor solution had better overall goodness-of-fit than the one-factor solution. However, only the Affective Suffering subscale was equivalent across countries, while the Motivation subscale was not. The Rasch model indicated that the EURO-D was a hierarchical scale. While the calibration pattern was similar across countries, between countries agreement in item calibrations was stronger for the items loading on the affective suffering than the motivation factor. In conclusion, there is evidence to support the EURO-D as either a uni-dimensional or bi-dimensional scale measure of depressive symptoms in late-life across European countries. The Affective Suffering sub-component had more robust cross-cultural validity than the Motivation sub-component.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Catchment Area, Health
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires*