The Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) is commonly used to measure depression in the elderly. However, there have been no reports of the underlying structure of the GDS. To this end, the GDS was administered to 326 community-dwelling elderly subjects, and the data were subjected to a factor analysis. A five-factor solution was selected and, after a varimax rotation, the factors that emerged could be described as: (1) sad mood, (2) lack of energy, (3) positive mood, (4) agitation, and (5) social withdrawal. This solution accounted for 42.9% of the variance. Knowledge of the factor structure should aid both clinicians and researchers in the interpretation of responses on the GDS.
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