Depression among older people with cognitive impairment: prevalence and detection

Marita P McCabe, Tanya Davison, David Mellor, Kuruvilla George, Kate Moore, Chantal Ski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Past research has demonstrated that there is a high level of depression among older people, particularly for those with cognitive impairment and those in residential care. The current study was designed to determine the prevalence of depression among older people in hostels with cognitive impairment using a structured diagnostic interview. A further aim was to determine an appropriate screening instrument to detect depression within this population. It was also designed to evaluate the extent to which depression among these older people had previously been detected.

METHOD: Five commonly used depression scales were administered and compared to the results of the diagnostic interview.

RESULTS: The results demonstrated that 38.9% of older people were diagnosed with depression, but that only 50% of these people had been previously diagnosed with this disorder. All scales showed some level of validity to detect depression.

CONCLUSIONS: The implications of these findings for our understanding of depression among older people with cognitive impairment are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)633-44
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2006


  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cognition Disorders
  • Depressive Disorder, Major
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Prevalence
  • Psychological Tests
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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