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Depression in the elderly in Vellore, South India: the use of a two-question screen

  • S. S. Biswas (a1), R. Gupta (a1), H. A. Vanjare (a1), S. Bose (a1), J. A. Patel (a1), S. Selvarajan (a1), J. Aaron (a1), E. Nitya (a1), D. S. Iyer (a1), N. S. M. Jacob (a1), K. R. John (a1) and K. S. Jacob (a2)...

Abstract

Background: Depression in the elderly is a common and disabling condition. The aim of the study was to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of a two-question screen to identify depression and common mental disorders in the elderly.

Method: Residents of a ward in the town of Vellore were identified by a door-to-door survey from which 204 subjects aged over 60 years were selected for the study by systematic random sampling. They were screened using the two-question screen. The Revised Clinical Interview Schedule (CIS-R) was employed to confirm the diagnosis.

Results: The prevalence of depression and common mental disorder, using the CIS-R standard, was found to be 31.5%. The two-question screen has a sensitivity of 93.8% and specificity of 48.2%.

Conclusions: The high sensitivity of the two-question screen makes it a useful screening method which can be employed by health workers in the field.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: K.S. Jacob, Professor of Psychiatry, Christian Medical College, Vellore 632002, India. Phone: +91 416 2284513; Fax: +91 416 2262268. Email: ksjacob@cmcvellore.ac.in.

References

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Benjamin, D., Chandramohan, A., Annie, I. K., Prasad, J. and Jacob, K. S. (2005). Validation of the Tamil version of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology India, 17, 8388.
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Nambi, S. K., Prasad, J., Singh, D., Abraham, V., Kuruvilla, A. and Jacob, K. S. (2002). Explanatory models and common mental disorders among subjects with unexplained somatic symptoms in a primary care facility in Tamil Nadu. National Medical Journal of India, 15, 331335.
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Depression in the elderly in Vellore, South India: the use of a two-question screen

  • S. S. Biswas (a1), R. Gupta (a1), H. A. Vanjare (a1), S. Bose (a1), J. A. Patel (a1), S. Selvarajan (a1), J. Aaron (a1), E. Nitya (a1), D. S. Iyer (a1), N. S. M. Jacob (a1), K. R. John (a1) and K. S. Jacob (a2)...

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