Protocol - Depressive Symptoms - Geriatric

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An interviewer- or self-administered questionnaire of 15 yes/no questions to screen for depression in older adults.

Specific Instructions:

Choose the best answer for how you have felt over the past week:

1. Are you basically satisfied with your life? [ ] YES / [ ] NO

2. Have you dropped many of your activities and interests? [ ] YES/ [ ] NO

3. Do you feel that your life is empty? [ ] YES/ [ ] NO

4. Do you often get bored? [ ] YES/ [ ] NO

5. Are you in good spirits most of the time? [ ] YES / [ ] NO

6. Are you afraid that something bad is going to happen to you? [ ] YES/ [ ] NO

7. Do you feel happy most of the time? [ ] YES / [ ] NO

8. Do you often feel helpless? [ ] YES/ [ ] NO

9. Do you prefer to stay at home, rather than going out and doing new things? [ ] YES/ [ ] NO

10. Do you feel you have more problems with memory than most? [ ] YES/ [ ] NO

11. Do you think it is wonderful to be alive now? [ ] YES / [ ] NO

12. Do you feel pretty worthless the way you are now? [ ] YES/ [ ] NO

13. Do you feel full of energy? [ ] YES / [ ] NO

14. Do you feel that your situation is hopeless? [ ] YES/ [ ] NO

15. Do you think that most people are better off than you are? [ ] YES/ [ ] NO

Protocol Name from Source:

Geriatric Depression Scale - Short Form


Publicly available

Personnel and Training Required

The interviewer must be trained to conduct personal interviews with individuals from the general population. The interviewer must be trained and found to be competent (i.e., tested by an expert) at the completion of personal interviews. The interviewer should be trained to prompt respondents further if a "don't know" response is provided.

Equipment Needs
The PhenX Working Group acknowledges that these questions can be administered in a computerized or noncomputerized format (i.e., paper-and-pencil instrument). Computer software is necessary to develop computer-assisted instruments. The interviewer will require a laptop computer/handheld computer to administer a computer-assisted questionnaire.
Requirement CategoryRequired
Mode of Administration

Self-administered questionnaire

Life Stage:


Older adults with dementia

Selection Rationale

The Geriatric Depression Scale is a validated, widely distributed, and easy-to-complete questionnaire that can be finished in approximately 5 to 7 minutes.


Common Data Elements (CDE) Psychiatric Geriatric Depression Scale Questionnaire Assessment Scale 6456316 CDE Browser
Derived Variables


Process and Review

The Expert Review Panel has yet to review this measure.


Geriatric Depression Scale, https://web.stanford.edu/~yesavage/GDS.html

Brink, T. L., Yesavage, J. A., Lum, O., Heersema, P., Adey, M. B., & Rose, T. L. (1982). Screening tests for geriatric depression. Clinical Gerontologist, 1, 37-44.

General References

Sheikh, J. I., Yesavage, J. A. (1986). Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS): Recent evidence and development of a shorter version. Clinical Gerontology: A Guide to Assessment and Intervention165-173, NY: The Haworth Press, 1986.

Sheikh, J. I., Yesavage, J. A., Brooks, J. O., III, Friedman, L. F., Gratzinger, P., Hill, R. D., ... Crook, T. (1991). Proposed factor structure of the Geriatric Depression Scale. International Psychogeriatrics, 3, 23-28.

Yesavage, J. A., Brink, T. L., Rose, T. L., Lum, O., Huang, V., Adey, M. B., & Leirer, V. O. (1983). Development and validation of a geriatric depression screening scale: A preliminary report. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 17, 37-49.

Protocol ID:


Export Variables
Variable NameVariable IDVariable DescriptionVersiondbGaP Mapping
Measure Name:

Depression Symptoms

Release Date:

July 2, 2018


A self-report questionnaire to assess symptoms of major depressive disorder (MDD).


This measure can be used to rapidly assess depressive symptoms and select cases and non-cases. Depression is a common disorder that demonstrates a familial pattern and is comorbid with other psychiatric disorders, including anxiety disorder, substance use disorders, and eating disorders. Additionally, certain medical conditions-such as diabetes, stroke, and heart disease-can increase the risk of depression. Some individuals who present with major depressive episodes may have a bipolar spectrum disorder.


Psychiatric, depression, bipolar disorder