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Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2009 Jun;24(6):556-62. doi: 10.1002/gps.2154.

Is the geriatric depression scale a reliable screening tool for depressive symptoms in elderly patients with cognitive impairment?

Author information

1
Department of Neurology and Memory Clinic, Middelheim General Hospital, Antwerp, Belgium.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the reliability of the 30-item Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS-30) for the screening of depressive symptoms in dementia and mild cognitive impairment (MCI) using the Cornell Scale for Depression in Dementia (CSDD) as the 'gold standard'.

METHODS:

Diagnosed according to strictly applied clinical diagnostic criteria, patients with MCI (n = 156) and probable Alzheimer's disease (AD) (n = 247) were included. GDS-30, CSDD, Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE) and Global Deterioration Scale were assessed in all patients at inclusion. The AD group was divided in three subgroups: mild AD (MMSE>or=18) (n = 117), moderate AD (MMSE< 18 and >or=10) (n = 89) and severe AD (MMSE<10) (n = 38).

RESULTS:

In MCI patients, moderate but highly significant correlations were found between GDS-30 and CSDD scores (Pearson: r = 0.565; p < 0.001). In mildly (r = 0.294; p = 0.001), moderately (r = 0.273; p = 0.010) and severely (r = 0.348; p = 0.032) affected AD patients, only weak correlations between GDS-30 and CSDD scores were calculated. ROC curve analysis showed that sensitivity and specificity values of respectively 95% and 67% were achieved when a GDS-30 cut-off score of 8 was applied in MCI patients. In AD patients, too low sensitivity and specificity values did not allow selecting an optimal cut-off score by means of ROC curve analysis.

CONCLUSION:

Using the CSDD as 'gold standard', we demonstrated that the GDS-30 is a reliable screening tool for depressive symptoms in MCI but not in AD patients.

PMID:
19132643
DOI:
10.1002/gps.2154
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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