Geriatric Depression Scale

A questionnaire to screen for depression in geriatric populations


The Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) was developed as a basic screening tool to assess for depression in older adults.

The GDS uses a simple yes/no response format and is available in 30-, 15-, and 5-item versions though the 15-item version is offered here.

The 15-item version (sensitivity 81 percent, specificity 78 percent) performs better than the 30-item version for identifying late-life depression in primary care.

Although GDS is frequently used by specialists in Geriatric, the PHQ-9 has been shown to perform as well or better in geriatric patients, including those who are cognitively impaired or living in nursing homes.


Brink TL, Yesavage JA, Lum O, Heersema P, Adey MB, Rose TL.

Screening tests for geriatric depression. Clinical Gerontologist 1: 37-44, 1982.

Yesavage JA, Brink TL, Rose TL, Lum O, Huang V, Adey MB, Leirer VO.

Journal of Psychiatric Research, 17 (1): 37-49

Sheikh JI, Yesavage JA.

Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS): Recent evidence and development of a shorter version. Clinical Gerontology : A Guide to Assessment and Intervention 165-173, NY: The Haworth Press, 1986.

Sheikh JI, Yesavage JA, Brooks JO, III, Friedman LF, Gratzinger P, Hill RD, Zadeik A, Crook T.

International Psychogeriatrics 1991, 3 (1): 23-8

The Geriatric Depression Scale calculator is created by QxMD.

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1. Ask the following 15 questions of your geriatric patient

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