SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.39 issue6Validity of the Portuguese version of Clinical Dementia RatingDrug use by the elderly in Southern Brazil author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Page  

Services on Demand




Related links


Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


PARADELA, Emylucy Martins Paiva; LOURENCO, Roberto Alves  and  VERAS, Renato Peixoto. Validation of geriatric depression scale in a general outpatient clinic. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2005, vol.39, n.6, pp.918-923. ISSN 1518-8787.

OBJECTIVE: The Geriatric Depression Scale for screening depressive symptoms in the elderly has not been assessed in elderly outpatients who seek primary health care in Brazil. The objective was to determine the validity of the Short Scale for Major Depressive Episode or Dysthymia (GDS-15) in elderly outpatients. METHODS: The scale was applied in 302 subjects with 65 years and older and then examined by an independent geriatrician, blinded to the results. Major depression and dysthymia were diagnosed using the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV criteria. Sensitivity and specificity were calculated at several cutoff values and a Receiver Operating Characteristic curve was plotted. RESULTS: The best equilibrium was at the cutoff value of 5/6 showing 81% sensitivity and 71% specificity; the area under the Receiver Operating Characteristic curve was 0.85 (95% CI: 0.79-0.91). CONCLUSIONS: The GDS-15 can be used for screening depressive symptoms in Brazilian elderly outpatients. The previously suggested cutoff value of 5/6 is adequate.

Keywords : Depression [diagnosis]; Validity; Elderly; Aging; GDS-15 [Geriatric Depression Scale]; Sensitivity; Specificity.

        · abstract in Portuguese     · text in English | Portuguese     · English ( pdf ) | Portuguese ( pdf )