J Korean Neuropsychiatr Assoc.  1999 Jan;38(1):48-63.

Validation of Geriatric Depression Scale, Korean Version(GDS) in the Assessment of DSM-III-R Major Depression

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine, Inha University, Inchon, Korea.
  • 3Department of Psychiatry, Hankang Sacred Heart Hospital, College of Medicine, Hallym University, Seoul, Korea.
  • 4Department of Psychiatry, Chungnung Evangelical Hospital, Korea.
  • 5Department of Psychiatry, Yonchon Medical Center, Korea.


OBJECTIVES: The authors attempted to evaluate the diagnostic validity of the Korean version, Geri-atric Depression Scale(GDS) for screening geriatric DSM-III-R major depression among clinical pop-ulations.
Through of preliminary trials 3 times, the authors translated GDS including Short form Geriatric Depression Scale(SGDS) into Korean. GDS, SGDS, HRS-D, CES-D was adminis-tered to 88 elderly psychiatric patients(35 major depressives, 51 were non-major depression) and also Diagnostic Interview Schedule(DIS-III-R) was administered independently to diagnoses DSM-III-R major depression. Reliability and validity test 5, optimal cut-off point estimation, and ROC curve analysis were done to investigate the diagnostic validity of GDS and SGDS.
Internal consistency-reliability and concurrent validity of GDS, SGDS associated with other depression scales(HRS-D, CES-D) were excellent. Content validity and discriminant validity which differentiate DSM-III-R major depression from non-major depression was also good. The authors suggest the score '17' as the optimal cut-off point of GDS for screening DSM-III-R major depression among clinical populations and the score '8' as optimal cut-off score of SGDS. ROC curve analysis revealed wide AUC of both GDS and SGDS, which indicates its high diagnostic validity in assessing DSM-III-R major depression. The GDS and SGDS were found to be highly correlated(r=0.9594) and any difference of AUC between both scales in ROC curve analysis were not found. This finding suggests that SGDS can be an adequate substitute for GDS.
The GDS and SGDS are valid and reliable case finding tools for screening DSM-III-R major depression among clinical populations in Korea but relatively high cut-off point demands the further evaluation in the viewpoint of culturally determined style of response for the depression questionnaire in Korea.


GDS; SGDS; Major depression; Elderly; Diagnostic validity; Optimal cut-off score
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