Geriatric Depression Scale: How is it Used by Doctors?


Among the many tools used by healthcare professionals in the assessment of depression in older adults is the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS). The GDS is used to measure mental illness in older adults.

Unlike other depression assessment tools, the GDS does not serve as a diagnostic instrument. Instead, it helps nurses quantify their concerns about mental illness.


1) Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS-15)

The Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) is a 15-question assessment of depression in geriatric patients. It was developed by Jerome Yesavage of the Stanford University Aging Clinical Research Center.

This assessment is available in several languages and can be self-administered. It takes between five and seven minutes to complete. Its sensitivity and specificity indicate its criterion validity.

Several studies have examined the validity and reliability of GDS-15 in clinical settings. One study found that it was accurate and reliable when administered to people living in a residential care facility.

Its kappa score was 53.8% and its Youden index was 0.3819, making it a suitable tool for geriatric patients. The GDS-15 was not limited to elderly patients; it can be used to assess individuals with a variety of mental health problems.


The GDS-15 is a short depression screening tool that can be administered to patients in a variety of settings. In its most basic form, it is used in clinical settings to assess the severity of despondency.

Although its validity is generally high, more studies are needed to further establish its reliability and validity in clinical settings.

The GDS-15 has been validated with factor analysis in both males and females. The GDS-15’s three-factor structure was found to be well-fitted to data for both males and females.

Moreover, it had multiple confirmatory factors. Measurement invariance was also observed when factor patterns were equivalent across the genders.

The Scale is a useful screening tool for the diagnosis of depression in elderly patients. Its simplicity and ease of use make it an ideal tool for clinical settings.

In addition, its simple Yes/No format makes it easier to comprehend than other despondency rating scales. It also scores patients’ social interactions and enjoyment.

2) Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS-30)

The Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) is a screening tool for despondency in older adults. It has been validated among older adults with varying levels of cognitive functioning.

It is also sensitive to somatic presentations of despondency, which are common in older adults. However, its yes/no format limits its acceptance among older adults.

The GDS-30 is a 30-item self-report questionnaire. The items are scored on a scale from 0 to 30, and the responses can be either yes or no. The total score is then calculated by adding up the entire yes and no responses.

A score of 0 to 10 is considered to be depressive-free, while a score of 11 to 20 indicates mild to moderate sadness.

A study of the GDS-30 showed moderate to strong correlations with MNA-SF and SMMT scores. In addition, participants’ age was related to their GDS scores. Participants who were malnourished were more likely to be depressed than those who were in a normal nutritional state.

Moreover, participants who were depressed were more likely to have dementia.

Although the GDS-30 geriatric depression scale is not a diagnostic tool, its positive results may indicate mental health problems in the elderly. This should prompt a mental health practitioner to conduct a complete evaluation.

Furthermore, a full assessment should be made regarding sociality as mental illness is a major risk factor for sociality among older adults. However, GDS-30 is considered a screening instrument and is not intended to replace psychological assessment or a comprehensive diagnostic interview.


GDS-30 has excellent reliability and validity among the Chinese elderly. Its two-factor structure makes it easier to interpret than the four-factor scales of other mental illness screening tools.

This screening tool is easy to administer and interpret and has wide clinical acceptance. It has also been validated for validity and sensitivity.

The GDS-30 Geriatric Depression Scale contains 30 items that measure mental illness. Most of the items have a dichotomous response.

It means that one indicates depressive symptoms while the other indicates that a person does not have any depressive symptoms. The higher the score, the more depressive symptoms a person may have.

The GDS-30 has been validated in three languages. The original version of the questionnaire was developed by Drs. Jorge Martinez de la Iglesias and Carmen Ones Filches. A second version was created by Dr. Johnny Pella’s. In addition, the GDS-30 has also been translated into Malayalam.

The GDS-30 is a widely-used screening tool for mental illness. It has been used in clinical settings for over 30 years. Its validity and reliability have been demonstrated by a recent study.

Its translation and validation into Malayalam are one of the many languages in India, and it may help fill in gaps in geriatric research.

Video: What is Depression in Old Age or Geriatric Depression?

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