Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Geriatric Depression Scale

  • Christina SalamaEmail author
  • Jennifer Linton Reesman
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_1986


GDS; Mood assessment scale


The Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) is a 30-item self-report measure of depressive symptoms experienced by the respondent during the past week using a yes/no response format. For 20 items a “yes” response indicates depressive symptomatology and for 10 items a “no” response does so. The items are summed (one point per item) to provide a total score ranging from 0 to 30. Administration time typically ranges from 5 to 10 min. Items may be read to visually challenged or reading-impaired respondents, and telephone administration appears to yield valid and reliable results (Burke et al. 1995).

Historical Background

The GDS was developed in two studies (Brink et al. 1982; Yesavage et al. 1983) to minimize misdiagnosis of depression in the elderly by omitting somatic symptoms that may be common among nondepressed elderly (e.g., sleep disturbance, appetite changes). An additional goal was to develop a measure of depressive symptoms that was...

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References and Readings

  1. Almeida, O. P., & Almeida, S. A. (1999). Short versions of the geriatric depression scale: A study of their validity for the diagnosis of a major depressive episode according to ICD-10 and DSM-IV. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 14, 858–865.  https://doi.org/10.1002/(sici)1099-1166(199910)14:10%3C858::aid-gps35%3E3.0.co;2-8.PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kennedy Krieger Institute/Johns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA