Background: This study aimed to examine the validity and reliability of an Arabic version of the 15-item Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS-15).
Methods: 121 community-dwelling older adults and primary care patients aged 60 and above participated in this study. Older adults with dementia, those with thyroid dysfunction, and hearing or speech impairments were excluded. Test-retest reliability was examined by re-administering the translated GDS-15 to a subset of 38 participants at least seven days after the initial interview.
Results: The Arabic GDS-15 had good psychometric properties, but the best properties were reported for the 7/8 cutoff. Cronbach's α as a measure of internal consistency reliability was high (0.88) and κ ranged from 0.57 to 0.75. The performance of the GDS-15 was equally good for both community-dwelling older adults and those in primary care settings, and for both forms of the GDS (examiner administered vs. self-administered).
Conclusion: The Arabic GDS is a useful measure to assess depression among community-dwelling older adults and primary care patients who do not have dementia. Because of the use of formal Arabic, GDS-15 can be widely used with all Arabic-speaking people.