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Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2006 Sep;14(9):742-51.

The development and initial validation of the geriatric suicide ideation scale.

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Departments of Psychiatry and Epidemiology and Biostatistics, The University of Western Ontario, Lawson Health Research Institute, London, Ontario, Canada.



The authors report on the development and initial validation of the Geriatric Suicide Ideation Scale (GSIS), a new multidimensional measure of suicide ideation and related factors in older adults.


Study 1 involved development of an initial 66-item measure, administration to a heterogeneous sample of 172 adults 65 years or older, assessment of the measure's factor structure, and subsequent scale reduction and correlation with social desirability. Study 2 involved validation of the reduced scale with a new sample of 107 older adults and psychometric assessment of the measure's reliability and initial validity.


Factor analysis indicated a four-factor structure for the GSIS, with subscales assessing Suicide Ideation, Death Ideation, Loss of Personal and Social Worth, and Perceived Meaning in Life. Psychometric analyses with a new sample indicated strong internal consistency and test-retest reliability. Construct and criterion validity for the GSIS and its subscales were demonstrated by positive associations with measures of depression, hopelessness, and self-reported health problems, and negative associations with life satisfaction and psychological well-being. The 10-item Suicide Ideation subscale also differentiated psychiatric patients from nonpatients.


The GSIS is a psychometrically sound measure of late-life suicide ideation. Findings support the use of its subscales as standalone measures of late-life suicide risk and psychological resilience.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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