Inconsistencies surrounding the prevalence levels of depression in later life suggest that the measurement of depression in older people may be problematic. The current study aimed to map responses to a depressive symptom scale, the Mental Health Index-5 (MHI-5) which is part of the Short form 36 (SF-36, Ware et al., 1993) against the diagnostic screening items of the Composite International Diagnostic Instrument-Short Form (CIDI-SF, Kessler et al., 1998) to examine disagreement rates across age groups. The study examined data from a national random sample of 10,641 participants living in Ireland, 58.8% were female and 19% were over 65 (SLÁN, 2007). CIDI-SF depression screening endorsement was lower in older groups, whereas mean MHI-5 depressive symptoms showed less change across age groups. Results showed that the odds of MHI-5 endorsers aged 18–44 endorsing CIDI-SF screening questions were 5 times and 4.5 times (dysphoria and anhedonia, respectively) greater than the odds of people aged 75 or more endorsing these items. Findings suggest that although the risk of depressive disorder may decrease with age, complex diagnostic screening questions may exaggerate lower rates of depression among older people.
- Diagnosis; Screening
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health
- Clinical Psychology
Trainor, K., Mallett, J., & Rushe, T. (2013). Age related differences in mental health scale scores and depression diagnosis: Adult responses to the CIDI-SF and MHI-5. Journal of Affective Disorders, 151(2), 639-645. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2013.07.011