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Reliability, concurrent validity, and cultural adaptation of the Geriatric Depression Scale and the Geriatric Anxiety Inventory for detecting depression and anxiety symptoms among older Chinese immigrants: an Australian study

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 November 2017

Briony Dow*
National Ageing Research Institute Ltd, Parkville, Victoria, Australia School of Population and Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
Xiaoping Lin
National Ageing Research Institute Ltd, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
Nancy A. Pachana
School of Psychology, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Christina Bryant
Centre for Women's Mental Health, The Royal Women's Hospital, Parkville, Victoria, Australia Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
Dina LoGiudice
National Ageing Research Institute Ltd, Parkville, Victoria, Australia Royal Melbourne Hospital, Royal Park Campus, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
Anita M.Y. Goh
National Ageing Research Institute Ltd, Parkville, Victoria, Australia Department of Psychiatry, Academic Unit for Psychiatry of Old Age, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
Betty Haralambous
National Ageing Research Institute Ltd, Parkville, Victoria, Australia
Correspondence should be addressed to: Briony Dow, Associate Professor, National Ageing Research Institute, 34-54 Poplar Road, Parkville 3052, Victoria, Australia. Phone: +61 3 8387 2639; Fax: +61 3 9387 4030. Email:



Older Chinese people are one of the largest and fastest growing immigrant groups in Western countries. The Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) and the Geriatric Anxiety Inventory (GAI) are screening tools that have been specifically designed for older people. This study explored their validity, concurrent reliability, and cultural appropriateness for detecting depression and anxiety symptoms among older Chinese immigrants living in Melbourne, Australia.


A total of 87 Chinese people were recruited from Chinese senior groups. Five screening tools were used, including the GDS, the GAI, the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS), the Kessler 10 (K10), and the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9). Data were collected through standardized interviews.


The GDS and the GAI were found to be reliable and valid tools for detecting depression and anxiety in this sample. Based on the results of the five screening tools, approximately 20% of participants exhibited clinically significant symptoms of depression and 8% of anxiety. Unexpectedly, there was a higher rate of depression and anxiety symptoms among Mandarin speaking people compared with Cantonese speaking people.


This study adds to the evidence that older Chinese immigrants are at greater risk of depression than the general older population. It suggests that primary care and mental health services should be aware of and responsive to the increased risk of depression among this group and that further studies are needed to investigate what is contributing to this increased risk.

Research Article
Copyright © International Psychogeriatric Association 2017 

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