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Geriatric Depression Scale Short Form (GDS-SF)

How to Use

  • 15-item screening tool used to identify depression in older adults 
  • Used with healthy, medically ill and mild to moderately cognitively impaired adults
  • Extensively used in community, acute and long-term care settings
  • Easy to administer and score
  • Same “yes/no” format as the LF
  • Takes ~ 5-7 minutes to administer
  • Public domain – many languages
  • The GDS-SF is a subset of 15 questions from the original GDS-LF with the highest correlation with depressive symptoms
  • Data supports the SF as an adequate substitute for the LF
Click here for website for GDS-SF


How to Score

Answers indicating depression are in bold; score one point for each bolded answer.
  • A score of 0 to 5 is normal 
  • A score > 5 suggests depression
  • A score ≥ 10 is almost always indicative of depression
Yesavage J.A., Brink T.L., Rose T.L. et al. Development and validation of a geriatric depression screening scale: a preliminary report. J. Psychiatr Res. 1983; 17:37-49;
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