(Criterion validity of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale (CES-D): results from a community-based sample of older subjects in the Netherlands)
The Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale (CES-D) has been widely used in studies of late-life depression. Psychometric properties are generally favourable, but data on the criterion validity of the CES-D in elderly community-based samples are lacking. In a sample of older (55–85 years) inhabitants of the Netherlands, 487 subjects were selected to study criterion validity of the CES-D. Using the 1-month prevalence of major depression derived from the Diagnostic Interview Schedule (DIS) as criterion, the weighted sensitivity of the CES-D was 100%; specificity 88%; and positive predictive value 13·2%. False positives were not more likely among elderly with physical illness, cognitive decline or anxiety. We conclude that the criterion validity of the CES-D for major depression was very satisfactory in this sample of older adults.
Address for correspondence: Dr Aartjan T. F. Beekman, Department of Psychiatry, Valerius Clinic, Valeriusplein 9, 1075 BG Amsterdam, The Netherlands.