Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS). Validity and reliability of different versions of the scale - review
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Psychiatr Pol 2011;45(4):555–562
Diagnosing depression in the elderly poses a serious problem because of the ageing process and various diseases that influence and mask symptoms of depressed mood. For instance, depression is often confused with dementia. It is therefore crucial to use a diagnostic tool that takes these problems into account. The presented paper is a review of the recently published studies concerning the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS). The properties of the original 30-items version of the GDS are described, along with the information on shorter versions of the scale (i.e. the scales consisting of 20, 15, 12, 10, 5, and 4 items). The psychometric properties i.e. validity, reliability, sensitivity, and specificity of the original version of GDS are presented. Also presented is the information on scoring for both 30- and 15-item version of the scale. The results of the studies concerning shorter versions of the GDS were discussed in the context of their usability in various settings. Different ways of administering the GDS are mentioned. In the last part of the article, general problems concerning diagnostic usability of the Geriatric Depression Scale are discussed.