Detecting depression in elderly medically ill patients: the use of the Geriatric Depression Scale compared with medical and nursing observations

Age Ageing. 1993 Sep;22(5):349-53. doi: 10.1093/ageing/22.5.349.


In a study of 59 elderly medically ill in-patients, 35% were found to have significant depressive symptomatology, as detected by the Geriatric Mental Status Schedule (GMSS). Of two screening methods, the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) performed satisfactorily but detection by nurses was poor. Acknowledgement of depression in medical casenotes was low. Training of nurses might improve detection; otherwise a mood-rating scale such as the GDS should be incorporated into routine practice.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Dementia / diagnosis
  • Dementia / nursing
  • Dementia / psychology
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Depressive Disorder / nursing
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Status Schedule / statistics & numerical data*
  • Nursing Assessment*
  • Patient Admission*
  • Patient Care Team
  • Personality Assessment / statistics & numerical data
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data*
  • Psychometrics
  • Sick Role*