Psychological Medicine

Research Article

A semi-structured clinical interview for the assessment of diagnosis and mental state in the elderly: the Geriatric Mental State Schedule: II. A factor analysis

B. J. Gurlanda11, J. L. Fleissa1, K. Goldberga1, L. Sharpea1, J. R. M. Copelanda1, M. J. Kellehera1 and J. M. Kelletta1

a1 Geriatrics Research, Psychiatric Research Institute, New York, and the U.S./U.K. Diagnostic Project, Institute of Psychiatry, Maudsley Hospital, London


One hundred geriatric psychiatric patients were examined with the Geriatric Mental State Schedule in New York and London, and a correlation procedure involving both clinical and statistical operations was carried out on the psychopathological data thus collected. Twenty-one factors were produced, including three dealing with cognitive impairment. Although it was found that elderly depressives show a profile of psychopathology quite different from that shown by patients with organic disorder, it was also found that patients with an apparently functional disorder may sometimes be diagnosed as an organic disorder, that subjective complaints of intellectual impairment are not good indicators of organic disorders and may be associated with a depressive factor, and that complaints that could be dismissed as attributes of ageing may actually be indicative of a depressive disorder in the elderly. The methodological implications, as well as the limitations of the sample size, are discussed.


1 Address for reprints: Dr B. J. Gurland, Geriatrics Research, 722 West 168 Street, New York, N. Y. 10032