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Preliminary evidence for the development of a stroke specific geriatric depression scale

Authors

  • Julie S. Cinamon,

    1. Department of Psychology, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    2. Department of Psychology at York University, Toronto, Ontario Canada
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    • Currently a Doctoral student in the Department of Psychology at York University, formerly was a Master's student in Department of Psychology, Concordia University.

  • Lois Finch,

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    • School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
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    • at the time of writing were PhD candidates in the School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, McGill University.

  • Sydney Miller,

    1. Department of Psychology, Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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    • Professor of clinical and health psychology, Concordia University.

  • Joanne Higgins,

    1. School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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    • at the time of writing were PhD candidates in the School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, McGill University.

  • Nancy Mayo

    1. Division of Clinical Epidemiology, Royal Victoria Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    2. Faculty of Medicine, School of Physical and Occupational Therapy, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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    • James McGill Professor in the Faculty of Medicine and Associate Professor McGill University.


Abstract

Measuring depression among persons with stroke faces many challenges; diagnostic tools are lengthy and do not measure the extent of depression; screening tools are not stroke-specific; and metrics from the available indices do not provide a value that is mathematically or clinically meaningful.

Purpose

To provide evidence for the development of a stroke specific Geriatric Depression Scale screening measure (SS-GDS) through Rasch methodology.

Methods

Secondary analyses of a randomized controlled trial post-stroke. Interviews from 91 subjects aged 71 (SD 10) over three time points or 240 interviews were analyzed. Rasch Analysis helped transform the 30-item GDS onto a logit scale. Unidimensionality, item fit, redundancy, and differential item functioning (DIF) were assessed.

Results

Seventeen items fit the model to form a hierarchical measure ranging in difficulty from +1.2 to −1.8 logits. Preliminary psychometric properties of reliability, validity, and responsiveness were adequate. Two items that demonstrated DIF, one for language and one for gender, were split.

Conclusion

The 17-item SS-GDS Rasch measure was developed to screen for post-stroke depression (PSD) and provide an important step toward quantifying PSD. If revalidated in a larger sample, the SS-GDS could provide a mathematically valid index to screen for depression in stroke survivors. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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