How Sad: The Geriatric Depression Scale Quiz

Staff

The Geriatric Depression Scale screens older people for depression. Which of these is NOT another depression screening tool?

The Geriatric Depression Scale, the Zung Depression Rating Scale and the Beck Depression Inventory are all tools used for screening depression. (We made up the Marshall Depression Evaluation.)

Geriatric Depression Scale questions are structured to be answered in what way?

The GDS requires only yes or no answers. This has been cited by some as the reason it's so effective -- it's very simple and doesn't confuse people.

Who developed the Geriatric Depression Scale?

Dr. Virginia Apgar developed the Apgar score, a way of rating the health of newborn babies. Dr. Drake Ramoray is a character from the TV show "Friends." Dr. Jerome Yesavage helped develop the Geriatric Depression Scale.

Women are more likely than men to experience depression by what percentage?

Women are 70 percent more likely than men to experience depression, although older men with depression are more likely to commit suicide.

Which of these treatments has come back into vogue after proving effective in treating late-life depression?

Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) has proven very effective in treating depression in older adults who can't tolerate antidepressants. Lobotomies and ice baths are still decidedly unpopular as treatments for mental illness.

According to the Administration on Aging, people older than 65 will make up what percentage of the U.S. population by 2030?

By 2030, it's estimated that people 65 and older will make up 19 percent of the U.S. population, a big jump from previous generations.

Late-life depression presents differently from depression in other stages of life in that it frequently results in:

Late-life depression can present differently than depression with an earlier onset. Often, executive dysfunction is an issue. Someone with late-life depression may have trouble with response inhibition, for example. Sleeping either too little or too much is a symptom of depression in all age groups, whereas a rash is not considered to be a symptom of depression at all.

Which of these statements is NOT true?

Depression following hospitalization for an illness shouldn't be considered normal; rather, the person is in need of treatment. It's true that depression is not a natural part of aging, despite a societal tendency to view aging as depressing.

Which of these groups is identified as being at a high risk for geriatric depression?

Widows and widowers are considered to be at a higher risk for depression than people who remain married.

How do aging Baby Boomers compare to previous generations when it comes to depression?

Aging Baby Boomers have a higher incidence of late-life depression than previous generations have. Mental health in late life is a public health concern.

Which of these statements is true?

Despite what you may think from watching the news, older adults have higher suicide rates than any other age group.

According to one study, more than a third of older adults who committed suicide saw their doctor within what time frame?

Within a week of their death, more than a third of older adults who committed suicide saw their doctor. Almost all the rest saw their doctor in the previous month. This means that screening and intervention are both possible and necessary in older populations.

What is the vascular depression hypothesis?

The vascular depression hypothesis is that cerebrovascular disease, also known as CVD, may predispose, precipitate or perpetuate depression in people with certain neurological conditions. The other two answer choices are nonsense.

Dr. Jerome Yesavage, developer of the Geriatric Depression Scale, is a professor at what university?

Yesavage, who helped develop the GDS, is a professor at Stanford.

Which of these illnesses is NOT known for causing depression?

Thyroid disease and Parkinson's are both known for having depression as a symptom. Lambert's neuropathy is a made-up disease.

Which of these drugs used to treat depression is an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor)?

Fluoxetine, more commonly known by the brand name Prozac, is an SSRI. Bupropion, sold under the name Wellbutrin, is an SNRI, while trazodone is a presynaptic antidepressant.

What is a common alternative treatment for depression?

St. John's wort is a common alternative treatment for depression. However, just because a substance is natural doesn't mean that it isn't harmful; some herbs can react negatively with prescribed medications, for example. Tell your doctor all medicines you're taking, including supplemental vitamins and herbs.

The Geriatric Depression Scale is less effective at identifying depression in which group of older people?

The Geriatric Depression Scale is less effective at screening those with dementia for depression.

Depression affects approximately how many of the 31 million people in the U.S. who are older than 65?

Right now, depression affects about 5 million people age 65 or older in the U.S.

When was the short-form Geriatric Depression Scale developed?

The short-form version of the GDS was developed in 1986.

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About This Quiz

Late-life depression is a growing health concern as Baby Boomers age and exhibit a higher incidence of mental health issues than previous generations. One well-known tool that screens older people for depression is the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), which has proven very effective in identifying people who need help. How much do you know about depression late in life? Take the quiz.

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