Respond to the post bellow by comparing your assessment tool to theirs.
NOTE: my assessment tool: The patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9)
For the purpose of this discussion, the assessment tool that shall be analyzed is the Geriatric Depression Scale. It is important to note that depression in elderly patients is a common problem and this leads to significant emotional suffering and loss of quality of life. Depression in elderly patients also lead to increase in the risk of physical inactivity as well as disability. As elderly persons grow older an get to the age of 80 and above, depression becomes prevalent especially if they live in nursing homes or if they suffer from dementia (Conradsson, Rosendahl, Littbrand, Gustafson, Olofsson & Lovheim, 2013). Unfortunately, regardless of the fast that depression is more common than dementia in old age, it remains underdiagnosed and undertreated (Allan, Valkanova & Ebmeier, 2014). It is because of this that there is need to have a proper tool for diagnosing depression in geriatric patients. The tool should be effective in regard to the assessment process and help in the evaluation of treatment in order to monitor progress. One such tool is the Geriatric Depression Scale.
The Geriatric Depression Scale is a tool that is used to assess elderly patients with a view of establishing whether they are depressed. The tool was developed by Yesavage et al. in 1983. At the time it was established, it had 30 items. However, 30 items were found to be too many to be effective. The items made the tool time consuming for both elderly patients as well as clinicians. This necessitated the formulation of the GDS-15 which is said to be effective in diagnosing depression in elderly patients (Durmaz, Soysal, Ellidokuz & Isik, 2018). The effectiveness of this tool has been researched widely and scholars have established that it is not only effective in diagnosing depression in elderly patients, but it also has a significant correlation with DSM-5 criteria in patients that have depression (Durmaz, Soysal, Ellidokuz & Isik, 2018).
Psychometric properties mean that a tool is valid and reliable. It means that it has to be accurate in assessing what it is meant to assess, and it should also be consistent in providing results (Asunta, Viholainen, Ahonen & Rintala, 2019). The psychometric properties of the GDS-15 has been assessed in different studies. In fact, in one study, these properties were assessed in regard to different elderly populations including those that are cognitively intact, those that are functionally impaired and primary care elderly patients that are community dwelling. The study established that the tool’s internal consistency reliability was moderate but acceptable. There was construct validity in the tool’s ability to measure depressed mood, suicidal ideation and life satisfaction. The ability of the tool to show the difference between patients that were depressed and those that were not depressed showed acceptable specificity and sensitivity. However, when it came to suicide attempt status, the scale showed significant weakness. In conclusion, the scholars pointed out that in all the geriatric populations that were included in the study, the scale showed impressive psychometric properties (Friedman, Heisel & Delavan, 2005).
This scale basically has 15 questions. They are easy to understand and answer for elderly patients. They all have yes or no answers. 10 questions have to be answered as Yes to attract a point and 5 questions have to be answered as No to attract a point. A score below 4 is normal. A scale between 5-8 is mild depression. A score of 9-11 show moderate depression and a scale between 12-15 indicates severe depression. This is an assessment tool that should be applied in all geriatric patients and especially those that are not cognitively impaired. Since the scale can be adjusted depending on what the patient feels, it means that it can be used in the assessment of the effectiveness of a psychopharmacological therapy in patients.
Allan, C. E., Valkanova, V., & Ebmeier, K. P. (2014). Depression in older people is underdiagnosed. The Practitioner, 258(1771), 19-22
Asunta, P., Viholainen, H., Ahonen, T., & Rintala, P. (2019). Psychometric properties of observational tools for identifying motor difficulties–a systematic review. BMC pediatrics, 19(1), 322
Conradsson, M., Rosendahl, E., Littbrand, H., Gustafson, Y., Olofsson, B., & Lövheim, H. (2013). Usefulness of the Geriatric Depression Scale 15-item version among very old people with and without cognitive impairment. Aging & mental health, 17(5), 638-645
Durmaz, B., Soysal, P., Ellidokuz, H., & Isik, A. T. (2018). Validity and reliability of geriatric depression scale-15 (short form) in Turkish older adults. Northern clinics of Istanbul, 5(3), 216
Friedman, B., Heisel, M. J., & Delavan, R. L. (2005). Psychometric properties of the 15‐item geriatric depression scale in functionally impaired, cognitively intact, community‐dwelling elderly primary care patients. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 53(9), 1570-1576
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