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Factors of the Geriatric Depression Scale that may Distinguish between Four Cognitive Diagnostic Groups: Normal, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Dementia of the Alzheimer's Type, and Vascular Dementia

Description: The purpose of the current study was to explore the relationship between cognitive status and depression in a sample of geriatric patients. Participants included 282 geriatric patients ranging in age from 65 to 96 years who were classified according to diagnosis as: DAT, VaD, MCI, and Norm. All were referred for neurocognitive testing from the Geriatric Assessment Program (GAP) at the University of North Texas Health Science Center (UNTHSC) in Fort Worth, Texas. This study sought to identify factor structures for two versions of the GDS using a geriatric sample of cognitively impaired and intact patients. It then compared these factors to each other to determine whether the GDS-15 is truly a shorter version of the GDS-30. These were then compared to a previously determined factor structure. This study explored whether the four-factors of the GDS-30 are able to differentiate cognitive diagnostic groups. Further, this study sought to identify whether the severity of cognitive decline impacted GDS factor score for each of the cognitively impaired groups. Results revealed a two-factor model of the GDS - 15 and a four-factor model with the GDS - 30. The GDS-15 factors did not differ from the first two factors of the GDS-30. Comparison between the GDS-30 factor structure and that reported by Hall and Davis (in press) revealed no significant differences despite the inclusion of a normal, non-demented group in the current study. Comparisons of subscale scores revealed that DAT patients tended to score lower than the other groups on all but the cognitive impairment subscale. Severity level analyses indicated that as severity of deficits increases, awareness of deficits decreases. This study found that although the GDS-30 is a good screening tool for depression in geriatric patients, it is not particularly useful in differentiating cognitive status group. Also, the GDS-15 was not found ...
Date: December 2009
Creator: Cornett, Patricia F.