By Gordon Wilcock
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Additional resources for Assessment Scales in Old Age Psychiatry
Clinical Gerontologist 5:119–37 Time taken 5 minutes Rating selfadministered Main indications To detect depressive symptoms, particularly to be used for research purposes or screening. The scale should be used cautiously in visually or cognitively impaired elderly individuals. Scores range from 0 to 60. A cutoff of 16 has been suggested to differentiate patients with mild depression from normal controls and 23 and over to indicate significant depression. Applied Psychological Measurements 3 :385–401.
Journal of Psychiatric Research 12:189–98 Time taken 10 minutes Rating by interview (some training desirable) Main indications Rating of cognitive function. The MMSE has been suggested as being helpful in the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease with the addition of a verbal fluency test (Galasko et al, 1990), and the limits of the MMSE as a screening test have also been discussed (Anthony et al, 1982). An analysis of the scale with a commentary by the original author has been published (Burns et al, 1998).
Comparison of the short and long scales and validation of the shorter scale was satisfactory, with acceptable sensitivity and specificity being achieved compared to the gold standard of the GMSSAgecat programme (see page 279). 72, respectively. A German version of the EBASDEP is also being developed. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 14:473–80. Items of Brief Assessment Scale Depression Scale (BASDEP) Item no. Description Score if present 1 Admits to worrying in last month 1 *2 Worries about almost everything 1 3 Sad or depressed mood in last month 1 *4 Depression lasts longer than a few hours 1 *5 Depression worst at beginning of day 1 6 Has felt life not worth living in last month 1 7 Has not felt happy in last month 1 *8 Bothered and depressed by current loneliness 1 9 Almost nothing enjoyed lately 10 Less enjoyment than 1 year ago 1 *11 Less enjoyment because depressed/nervous 1 * 12 Has had episodes of depression longer than I week in duration prior to past year 1 13 Reports headaches in past month * 14 Poor appetite in the absence of medical cause 15 Slowed in physical movement compared to 1 year ago *16 Difficulty sleeping due to altered moods, thoughts or tension 1 1 1 1 17 Has cried or felt like crying in past month 1 18i Pessimistic or empty expectations of future 1† ii Thinks future bleak or unbearable 19i Has wished to be dead in past month 2 1† ii Suicidal thoughts 2† iii Serious consideration of methods of suicide or actual attempts in past month 3 *20 Obvious selfblame present 1 21 Describes self as not very happy/not at all happy (opposed to fairly or very happy) 1 *Leadin questions required.