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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Criterion, convergent, and discriminant validation of the Hubley depression scale for older adults (HDS-OA) Myers, Sherrie


There is a current need for an accurate screening measure for depression in older adults in both clinical and research settings. The Hubley depression scale for older adults (HDS-OA; Hubley, 1998) is a short 16-item depression screen designed for the elderly that is based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV). It uses a yes/no response format, large font size, and reminders of the reference period. Currently, it lacks sufficient psychometric evidence to support its use. The only other depression screen designed for older adults is the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS; Yesavage et al., 1983). The 30-item GDS and the shorter form GDS-15 (Sheikh & Yesavage, 1986) also use a yes/no response format but are not based on DSM-IV criteria for depression. The purpose of the study was to examine and compare the psychometric properties of the HDS-OA, GDS, and GDS-15 using a sample of 18 depressed and 18 non-depressed older adults. Validation evidence was presented to support inferences made from the HDS-OA total score, and the results of the measures were compared to determine if the HDS-OA performed as well or better than the GDS and GDS-15. Score reliability was examined through a measure of internal consistency. Construct validity was examined by correlating depression measure scores to provide evidence of convergent validity and through correlations with anxiety, cognitive status, and self-rated health scores to examine evidence of discriminant validity. Criterion-related validity was examined through differences in depressed and non-depressed group scores and levels of sensitivity and specificity found at an optimum cut score. The study findings revealed high internal consistency for the HDS-OA, evidence of convergent validity with the GDS and GDS-15, evidence of discriminant validity when correlated with anxiety, cognitive status, and self-rated health scores, and a significant difference between group scores, which attributes to the ability of the HDS-OA to differentiate between individuals with depression and those without. In these analyses, the HDS-OA performed as well as the GDS and GDS-15. The HDS-OA revealed higher sensitivity than the GDS and GDS-15 though, indicating slightly better performance in accurately identifying individuals with depression.

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