Associations between economic loss, financial strain and the psychological status of Wenchuan earthquake survivors.
OBJECTIVE No study has examined the diagnostic validity of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) in the Chinese elderly. This study aims to determine appropriate cutoffs for the 20- (CESD-20) as well as a ten-item (CESD-10) version of the instrument. Data were also provided, based on simulated scoring, for the diagnostic performance of the scales when using dichotomous instead of 4-point rating scales. METHODS Three hundred and ninety eight persons aged 60 +referred for psychiatric assessment by a physician were administered the CES-D as well as given an independent psychiatric assessment. A spectrum of depression diagnosis as the criterion was used to assess the diagnostic validity of the CES-D. RESULTS The ten and the 20-item version of the CES-D, regardless of scoring method, produced essentially identical performance indices. The optimal thresholds were 12 and 22 for CESD-10 and CESD-20 respectively, and based on these thresholds, sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value were 0.76, 0.55, 0.57 and 0.74 for CESD-10, and 0.75, 0.51, 0.55 and 0.72 for CESD-20. With both ends of the rating scale collapsed to create dichotomous items, the optimal thresholds became 4 for CESD-10 and 7 for CESD-20, and the corresponding performance indices were 0.67, 0.58, 0.56 and 0.69 for CESD-10, and 0.70, 0.58, 0.57 and 0.70 for CESD-20. CONCLUSIONS The ten-item version can be used in lieu of the 20-item version, and a dichotomous response format would probably work as well as the original four-point format, in order to simplify administration for elderly persons.