Characteristics of instruments screening for depression in adults with intellectual disabilities: systematic review

Res Dev Disabil. Nov-Dec 2010;31(6):1109-20. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2010.04.023. Epub 2010 May 23.


The aim of this study was to obtain information on feasibility, reliability and validity of available instruments screening for depression applied in people with intellectual disabilities (ID). Therefore, literature was systematically reviewed. For self-report, the Glasgow Depression scale for people with a Learning Disability appears most promising (internal consistency α=0.90, test-retest reliability r=0.97, sensitivity 96% and specificity 90%). For informant-report three instruments seem promising: the Assessment of Dual Diagnosis (internal consistency α=0.77 and α=0.91, test-retest reliability r=0.94, interrater reliability r=0.98), the Reiss Screen for Maladaptive Behaviour (internal consistency α=0.58-0.83, interrater reliability r=0.61-0.84, sensitivity 80%, specificity 83%), and the Children's Depression Inventory (internal consistency α=0.86, sensitivity 83%, specificity 93%). None of these three instruments have been studied satisfactorily in this group, yet. More research on psychometric properties, especially sensitivity and specificity in the ID population, is needed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability / epidemiology
  • Intellectual Disability / psychology*
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data
  • Prevalence
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales*
  • Psychometrics / methods*
  • Psychometrics / statistics & numerical data