PMID: 7061789Mar 1, 1982

Screening for depression in hospitalized geriatric medical patients

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
M A KitchellM A Raskind

Abstract

As part of an effort to improve the detection of depression in geriatric hospitalized medical patients, the validity of two self-rating depression scales, the Zung Self-rating Depression Scale (SDS) and the Popoff Index of Depression (ID), was evaluated. These two scales were completed by 42 medical inpatients whose mean age was 68 years. A psychiatrist who was "blind" to scale results interviewed each patient and diagnosed the presence or absence of depression according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-III (DSM-III) criteria for Major Depressive Episode. On both the SDS and the ID, there was significant agreement between the scale results and the interview diagnosis. Compared with the interview diagnosis, the SDS had a sensitivity of 58 per cent and a specificity of 87 per cent, and it correctly identified 74 per cent of the patients as being either depressed or nondepressed. The ID had a sensitivity of 88 per cent and a specificity of 52 per cent, and it correctly identified 66 per cent of the patients. Although performance on both scales is reduced compared with that of younger depressed patients, these self-rating scales appear to be useful aids for the detection of depression in geriatric medical patients.

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