BASDEC: a novel screening instrument for depression in elderly medical inpatients

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Date: Aug. 15, 1992
From: British Medical Journal(Vol. 305, Issue 6850)
Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group Ltd.
Document Type: Article
Length: 706 words

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Depression is a common cause and consequence of ill health in old people.[1] It hinders rehabilitation and hastens death, yet the diagnosis is often missed in medical wards.[2]

Screening questionnaires such as the geriatric depression scale (GDS)[3] help with recognising depression, which can then be assessed for treatment. The brief assessment schedule (BAS)[4] was used successfully by lay interviewers to screen for depression among residents of old people's homes.[5] In a typical hospital ward, however, the questions are too easily overheard.

We compare the GDS with a novel adaptation of the depression scale of the BAS as a deck of cards (BASDEC, BAS depression cards) in screening geriatric inpatients for depression.

Method and results

BASDEC comprises 19 cards, 8.2 cm x 10.4 cm, with statements derived from the depression scale of the BAS in large black print on a white background. They are presented one at a time, to be answered "True" or "False" according to the subject's present feelings. Every response of true gains one point, except "I've given up hope" and "I've seriously considered...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A12587214