The patient Health Questionnaire

Respond to the post bellow  by comparing your assessment tool to theirs.

NOTE: my assessment tool: The patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9)

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For the purpose of this discussion, the assessment tool that shall be  analyzed is the Geriatric Depression Scale. It is important to note that  depression in elderly patients is a common problem and this leads to  significant emotional suffering and loss of quality of life. Depression  in elderly patients also lead to increase in the risk of physical  inactivity as well as disability. As elderly persons grow older an get  to the age of 80 and above, depression becomes prevalent especially if  they live in nursing homes or if they suffer from dementia (Conradsson,  Rosendahl, Littbrand, Gustafson, Olofsson & Lovheim, 2013).  Unfortunately, regardless of the fast that depression is more common  than dementia in old age, it remains underdiagnosed and undertreated  (Allan, Valkanova & Ebmeier, 2014). It is because of this that there  is need to have a proper tool for diagnosing depression in geriatric  patients. The tool should be effective in regard to the assessment  process and help in the evaluation of treatment in order to monitor  progress. One such tool is the Geriatric Depression Scale.

The Geriatric Depression Scale is a tool that is used to assess elderly  patients with a view of establishing whether they are depressed. The  tool was developed by Yesavage et al. in 1983. At the time it was  established, it had 30 items. However, 30 items were found to be too  many to be effective. The items made the tool time consuming for both  elderly patients as well as clinicians. This necessitated the  formulation of the GDS-15 which is said to be effective in diagnosing  depression in elderly patients (Durmaz, Soysal, Ellidokuz & Isik,  2018). The effectiveness of this tool has been researched widely and  scholars have established that it is not only effective in diagnosing  depression in elderly patients, but it also has a significant  correlation with DSM-5 criteria in patients that have depression  (Durmaz, Soysal, Ellidokuz & Isik, 2018).

Psychometric properties mean that a tool is valid and reliable. It  means that it has to be accurate in assessing what it is meant to  assess, and it should also be consistent in providing results (Asunta,  Viholainen, Ahonen & Rintala, 2019). The psychometric properties of  the GDS-15 has been assessed in different studies. In fact, in one  study, these properties were assessed in regard to different elderly  populations including those that are cognitively intact, those that are  functionally impaired and primary care elderly patients that are  community dwelling. The study established that the tool’s internal  consistency reliability was moderate but acceptable. There was construct  validity in the tool’s ability to measure depressed mood, suicidal  ideation and life satisfaction. The ability of the tool to show the  difference between patients that were depressed and those that were not  depressed showed acceptable specificity and sensitivity. However, when  it came to suicide attempt status, the scale showed significant  weakness.  In conclusion, the scholars pointed out that in all the  geriatric populations that were included in the study, the scale showed  impressive psychometric properties (Friedman, Heisel & Delavan,  2005).

This  scale basically has 15 questions. They are easy to understand and  answer for elderly patients. They all have yes or no answers. 10  questions have to be answered as Yes to attract a point and 5 questions  have to be answered as No to attract a point.  A score below 4 is  normal. A scale between 5-8 is mild depression. A score of 9-11 show  moderate depression and a scale between 12-15 indicates severe  depression. This is an assessment tool that should be applied in all  geriatric patients and especially those that are not cognitively  impaired. Since the scale can be adjusted depending on what the patient  feels, it means that it can be used in the assessment of the  effectiveness of a psychopharmacological therapy in patients.



Allan,  C. E., Valkanova, V., & Ebmeier, K. P. (2014). Depression in older  people is underdiagnosed. The Practitioner, 258(1771), 19-22

Asunta,  P., Viholainen, H., Ahonen, T., & Rintala, P. (2019). Psychometric  properties of observational tools for identifying motor difficulties–a  systematic review. BMC pediatrics, 19(1), 322

Conradsson,  M., Rosendahl, E., Littbrand, H., Gustafson, Y., Olofsson, B., &  Lövheim, H. (2013). Usefulness of the Geriatric Depression Scale 15-item  version among very old people with and without cognitive  impairment. Aging & mental health, 17(5), 638-645

Durmaz,  B., Soysal, P., Ellidokuz, H., & Isik, A. T. (2018). Validity and  reliability of geriatric depression scale-15 (short form) in Turkish  older adults. Northern clinics of Istanbul, 5(3), 216

Friedman, B., Heisel, M. J., & Delavan, R. L. (2005). Psychometric properties of the 15‐item geriatric depression scale in functionally impaired, cognitively intact, community‐dwelling elderly primary care patients. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 53(9), 1570-1576

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