Indian Journal of PsychiatryIndian Journal of Psychiatry
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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 52  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 254-256

Validation of the geriatric depression scale for an elderly Sri Lankan clinic population

1 Department of Psychiatry, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka
2 Genetic Diagnostic & Research Laboratory and Human Brain Tissue Repository, Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka
3 Department of Botany, Open University of Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka
4 Neurology unit, Apollo Hospital, Colombo - 05, Sri Lanka

Correspondence Address:
K.R.D De Silva
Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medical Sciences, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Nugegoda
Sri Lanka
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Source of Support: National Science Foundation, Sri Lanka (Grant No: RG 2004/M/16),, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.70979

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Background : Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) has not been validated for the elderly population in Sri Lanka. Aim : To translate, validate, and examine the effectiveness of GDS and to suggest the optimal cut-off scores for elderly Sri Lankans attending a psychogeriatric clinic. Materials and Methods : The Sinhalese translation of GDS (GDS-S) was administered to people aged 55 years and above, attending a psychogeriatric outpatient clinic. The diagnostic performance of the instrument was compared against the ICD 10 diagnosis of a consultant psychiatrist, which was considered the 'gold standard'. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was carried out to compare the diagnostic performance of the GDS-S. Optimal cut-off scores for depression and sensitivity and the specificity of the instrument was determined. Results : A total of 60 subjects formed the final sample (male/female=16/44) of which 30 were depressed, while 30 were age- and sex-matched controls. The optimal cut-off score for GDS-S was 8 for differentiating non-depressed from mildly depressed, while the cut-off score for moderate depression was 10. Sensitivity and specificity of GDS-S was 73.3% for differentiating depressed from non-depressed. Conclusion : GDS is culturally acceptable, easy to use, sensitive, and a valid instrument to diagnose depression and to differentiate mild from moderate depression in an elderly Sri Lankan clinic population.



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