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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.

Author information

1
Departments of Psychiatry and Epidemiology and Biostatistics, The University of Western Ontario, Lawson Health Research Institute, London, Ontario, Canada. Marnin.Heisel@lhsc.on.ca

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

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.

METHODS:

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.

RESULTS:

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.

CONCLUSIONS:

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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