Geriatric Depression Screening

The Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) is a screening tool designed specifically for older adults who may need further evaluation for depression. It is a valuable and reliable measurement tool used in clinical practice and research programs. If you suspect you are suffering from depression, you can answer the questions yourself.


Instructions: Choose the best answer for how you have felt over the past week.

Yes      No

  1. Are you basically satisfied with your life?
  2. Have you dropped many of your activities and interests?
  3. Do you feel that your life is empty?
  4. Do you often get bored?
  5. Are you in good spirits most of the time?
  6. Are you afraid that something bad is going to happen to you?
  7. Do you feel happy most of the time?
  8. Do you often feel helpless?
  9. Do you prefer to stay at home, rather than going out and doing things?
  10. Do you feel that you have more problems with memory than most?
  11. Do you think it is wonderful to be alive now?
  12. Do you feel worthless the way you are now?
  13. Do you feel full of energy?
  14. Do you feel that your situation is hopeless?
  15. Do you think that most people are better off than you are?



Scoring: Score one point if you answered NO to Questions 1, 5, 7, 11, 13. Score one point if you answered YES to Questions 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15. Total your points.



If you have a score of five or more points, you should contact your health care provider for further evaluation.



Author: Jerry Yesavage, M.D., Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University Medical Center. Reference: Yesavage JA, Brink TL, Rose TL, Lum O, Huang V, Adey MB, Leirer VO: Development and validation of a geriatric depression screening scale: A preliminary report. Journal of Psychiatric Research. 17: 37-49, 1983.