Screening for depression among acutely ill geriatric inpatients with a short Geriatric Depression Scale

Age Ageing. 1997 May;26(3):217-21. doi: 10.1093/ageing/26.3.217.

Abstract

Background: Depression is not uncommon among acutely ill geriatric inpatients.

Method: The performances of shorter versions of the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) in screening for depression among acutely ill geriatric inpatients were examined.

Results: A cut-off of 2/3 gives the best sensitivity (88%) and specificity (75%) for the 10-item version (GDS10). A cut-off of 0/1 gives the best sensitivity (72%) and specificity (90%) for the 4-item version (GDS4). A positive response to item 6 ("Do you often feel helpless?") on the GDS10 gave a sensitivity of 76% and specificity of 75%. Patients found the GDS10 tolerable and acceptable.

Conclusion: Both shorter versions of the GDS may be utilized in screening for depression among acutely ill geriatric inpatients.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Comorbidity
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Depressive Disorder / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening*
  • Observer Variation
  • Patient Admission / statistics & numerical data*
  • Personality Assessment / statistics & numerical data
  • Personality Inventory / statistics & numerical data*
  • Psychometrics
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Sick Role*