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Health Qual Life Outcomes. 2017 Nov 28;15(1):230. doi: 10.1186/s12955-017-0811-9.

Depressive symptoms following natural disaster in Korea: psychometric properties of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale.

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Department of Psychology, Chungnam National University, 99 Daehak-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon, 34134, Republic of Korea.
Department of Psychology, Hallym University, 1 Hallymdaehak-gil, Chuncheon, Gangwon-do, 24252, Republic of Korea.



Depressive symptoms have been recognized as one of the most frequent complaints among natural disaster survivors. One of the most frequently used self-report measures of depressive symptoms is the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). To our knowledge, no study has yet examined the factor structure, reliability, and validity of the CES-D in a sample of natural disaster survivors. Thus, the present study investigated the factor structure, reliability, and validity of a Korean language version of the CES-D (KCES-D) for natural disaster survivors.


We utilized two archived datasets collected independently for two different periods in 2008 in the same region of Korea (n = 192 for sample 1; n = 148 for sample 2). Participants were survivors of torrential rains in the mid-eastern region of the Korean peninsula. For analysis, Samples 1 and 2 were merged (N = 340). Confirmatory factor analysis was performed to evaluate the one-factor model, the four-factor model, and the bi-factor models, as well as the second-order factor model. Composite reliability was computed to examine the internal consistency of the KCES-D total and subscale scores. Finally, Pearson's r was computed to examine the relationship between the KCES-D and the trauma-related measures.


The four-factor model provided the best fit to the data among the alternatives. The KCES-D showed adequate internal consistency, except for the 'interpersonal difficulties' subscale. Also regarding concurrent validity, weak to moderate positive correlations were observed between the KCES-D and the trauma-related measures.


The results support the four-factor model and indicate that the KCES-D has adequate psychometric properties for natural disaster survivors. If these findings are further confirmed, the KCES-D can be used as a useful, rapid, and inexpensive screening tool for assessing depressive symptoms in natural disaster survivors.


Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale; Depressive symptoms; Korean; Natural disaster; Psychometric properties

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