Depression Inventory for the Elderly (DIE) Depression is one of the most recurrently investigated psychological disorders within the area of medical R&D (Montorio & Izal, 1996). A number of exhaustive researches have been carried out to study its symptoms and impacts on different patients belonging to different personal and professional attributes and most of these researchers depicted that depression in the elderly people is very frequent and in spite of number of researches in this context, it is often undiagnosed or untreated.
To add to this jeopardy, it has also been estimated that only 10% out of the total depressed elderly individuals receive proper diagnosis and treatment (Holroyd et al, 2000). And for that reason, an authentic evaluation of depression in the elderly people comes up with a challenge because as per their psychology, there are greater chances that they may disagree with the verity that they are depressed regardless of having apparent classic symptoms of depression. Introduction to the Exposition
Adhering to the afore-mentioned factual revelation, there has been an immense inclination towards conducting researches that are addressing the use of inventories or instruments for evaluating the symptoms of depression especially in the elderly community of the social order.
For such assessments there are several depression-rating scales and instruments currently available for the practitioners of this field. However, most of these scales were not originally designed for the elderly and lack proper validation in the elderly population (Holroyd et al, 2000).
With this exposition, aim is to propose an exacting assessment inventory for depressed elderly on the basis of exhaustive reviews on the existing theories, conceptions, needs and demands of this community. The main purpose of this paper is to be of assistance for the readers to get the hold of the strengths and weaknesses of proposed assessment scale in the geriatric population. My Designed Instrument for Assessing Depression in Elderly Being a gerontological counselor who is working with elderly people and their families I have designed an instrument for assessment of self-rating of depressive symptoms in older adults.
This instrument has following key features: • Population: Adults, age 65 and older. • Score: The inventory provides a Total Score and five Primary Dimensions: Negative Mood, Interpersonal Problems, Ineffectiveness, Anhedonia, and Negative Self Esteem. • Time: 35 minutes Description: The DIE has been designed to measure depressive symptoms for elderly individuals. The self-administered inventory consists of 90 items related to such depressive symptoms as depressed mood, withdrawal, feelings of guilt and worthlessness, difficultly making decisions, vegetative functions, self–evaluation and interpersonal behaviors. Norms: The normative sample included 1266 retired individuals residing in Florida age 65 to 91. There were 350 men between the ages of 65 and 85, and 750 women ages 65 to 91. The population was mostly middle to upper class retirees. • Scoring: The inventory uses a 5-point scale of distress (0–4), ranging from “not at all” (0) to “extremely” (4). The DIE yields raw scores and T scores for the Total Score and Primary Dimension scores. Results are hand scored. T scores above 65 on the Total Score and the Primary Dimensions are considered in the “clinical range. ” Reliability: Internal consistency reliability has been found to be range from . 71 to . 89 with an assortment of samples. Test-retest correlations of reliability come out to be satisfactory. It is yet anticipated that various symptoms of depression would be altered over time, and regression of the mean is coupled with repetitive testing ultimately. • Validity: Three research studies have evaluated the DIE in assessing constructs both for concurrent and predictive uses in characterizing symptoms of depression in older adults. The studies report the DIE successfully distinguishes individuals without depression from depressed individuals.
Evaluation of the Proposed Instrument The proposed DIE is being evaluated on the basis of three core attributes described and discussed below: Appropriateness As a gerontological counselor and on the basis of acquaintance and experience I have in this field, the proposed DIE is appropriate to be used with my clients as I am mostly dealing with the patients who belong to the aged community of our society and I found the proposed DIE synchronized enough with the population area that my counseling services are taking account for i. e. eople above 65 years who are retired from their professional obligations. Thus, it is appropriate to be used within my counseling domain. Moreover, its reliability and validity for the resulted measures makes it even more appropriate for being used in this field of counseling. Strengths and weakness: From the specifications of the designed DIE it is clear enough that this instrument is meant to enumerate certain levels of depression in a patient. Furthermore, this DIE is created on the basis of background understanding of assorted facets of depression.
Its prime strength is the assessment it comes up with to evaluate the severity of depression in adults who have been psychiatrically diagnosed. It yields consequential outcomes than just measuring the ones which only take account for patient responses to conventional questions. As far as its weaknesses are concerned, it could comment that the proposed DIE requires more time for its completions as compared to many other scales available for assessing depression.
Why to use the Proposed DIE? On the basis of evaluation carried out in previous section, I would like to establish that the proposed DIE has distinctive features which are all-inclusive by almost all means and for that reason would like to make it a critical part of my counseling practices to come up with some out of the box diagnostic results that can make my services even more effective and realistic.
References Holroyd, M. D. , Anita, H. Clayton, M. D. (2000). Measuring depression in the elderly: Which scale is best? Medscape General Medicine, 2(4). Montorio, I. & Izal, M. (1996). The geriatric depression scale: A review of its development and utility. Retrieved February 24, 2012, from http://www. public-health. uiowa. edu/icmha/outreach/documents/TheGeriatricDepressionScale. pdf.
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