Reliability, concurrent validity, and cultural adaptation of the Geriatric Depression Scale and the Geriatric Anxiety Inventory for detecting depression and anxiety symptoms among older Chinese immigrants: an Australian study

Int Psychogeriatr. 2018 May;30(5):735-748. doi: 10.1017/S1041610217002332. Epub 2017 Nov 8.


ABSTRACTBackground:Older Chinese people are one of the largest and fastest growing immigrant groups in Western countries. The Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) and the Geriatric Anxiety Inventory (GAI) are screening tools that have been specifically designed for older people. This study explored their validity, concurrent reliability, and cultural appropriateness for detecting depression and anxiety symptoms among older Chinese immigrants living in Melbourne, Australia.

Methods: A total of 87 Chinese people were recruited from Chinese senior groups. Five screening tools were used, including the GDS, the GAI, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), the Kessler 10 (K10), and the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). Data were collected through standardized interviews.

Results: The GDS and the GAI were found to be reliable and valid tools for detecting depression and anxiety in this sample. Based on the results of the five screening tools, approximately 20% of participants exhibited clinically significant symptoms of depression and 8% of anxiety. Unexpectedly, there was a higher rate of depression and anxiety symptoms among Mandarin speaking people compared with Cantonese speaking people.

Conclusion: This study adds to the evidence that older Chinese immigrants are at greater risk of depression than the general older population. It suggests that primary care and mental health services should be aware of and responsive to the increased risk of depression among this group and that further studies are needed to investigate what is contributing to this increased risk.

Keywords: ageing; anxiety; cross-cultural; depression.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Anxiety / diagnosis*
  • Anxiety / ethnology
  • Asian People / statistics & numerical data*
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • China / ethnology
  • Cross-Cultural Comparison
  • Depression / diagnosis*
  • Depression / ethnology
  • Emigrants and Immigrants / psychology*
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sampling Studies