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Einstein (São Paulo)

Print version ISSN 1679-4508On-line version ISSN 2317-6385


MATIAS, Amanda Gilvani Cordeiro; FONSECA, Marília de Andrade; GOMES, Maria de Lourdes de Freitas  and  MATOS, Marcos Antonio Almeida. Indicators of depression in elderly and different screening methods. Einstein (São Paulo) [online]. 2016, vol.14, n.1, pp.6-11. ISSN 1679-4508.


To determine the prevalence of depressive symptoms among elderly and correlate the agreement between the screening methods used.


A cross-section study of 137 elderly attending the Programa Vivendo a Terceira Idade [Living for the Elderly Program]. Depressive symptoms were screened by the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 and the 15-item Geriatric Depression Scale, by Yesavage. Cohen´s kappa analyzed the degree of agreement of these scales.


The prevalence of depressive symptoms screened by the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 was 62.8% and, by the Geriatric Depression Scale, 52.6%. The Spearman correlation between the results of scales obtained rho=0.387, p<0.000. The Kappa reliability coefficient was 0.41 and significance level of p<0.001. The screening methods showed sensitivity of 80% and specificity of 44%.


Both scales showed moderate agreement and were useful for detecting a relevant prevalence of the target outcome of depression among the elderly.

Keywords : Frail elderly; Depressive disorder/diagnosis; Mass screening/methods; Symptom assessment; Questionnaires.

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