Development of a depression scale for veterans and war widows

  • Julie E. Byles
  • Nick Higginbotham
  • Brendan Goodger
  • Meredith Tavener
  • Agatha Conrad
  • Peter Schofield
  • Danielle Anthony


We developed and evaluated a brief measure of depression for use within a population of older Australian war veterans and war widows. Derived from the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), the 12-item GDS-Veterans is designed to include items that most closely represent the thoughts and feelings of older veterans in relation to their war experiences. The scale was administered to 1,620 veterans and widows concurrent with the 36-item Medical Outcomes Study Short Form (MOS SF-36) quality of life measure. Of those surveyed, 13.5% indicated that they often or always worry about things that happened during the war, indicating that this item tapped an important dimension for many of the veteran population. Scores on the GDS-Veterans were strongly correlated with the Mental Health subscale (-.72) and the Mental Health Component Summary Score (-.68) of the MOS SF-36 quality of life measure.

Key words

depression aged war veterans scale development 


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Copyright information

© International Society of Behavioral Medicine 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julie E. Byles
    • 1
  • Nick Higginbotham
    • 1
  • Brendan Goodger
    • 1
  • Meredith Tavener
    • 1
  • Agatha Conrad
    • 2
  • Peter Schofield
    • 3
  • Danielle Anthony
    • 4
  1. 1.Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and BiostatisticsThe University of NewcastleNew South WalesAustralia
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyThe University of NewcastleNew South WalesAustralia
  3. 3.James Fletcher HospitalNewcastleAustralia
  4. 4.Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and BiostatisticsThe University of NewcastleNew South WalesAustralia

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