Pub. date: 2004 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952576 | Print ISBN: 9780761923602 | Online ISBN: 9781412952576| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Robert A. Steer & Aaron T. Beck
The measurement of depression is dependent upon the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that are assumed to define this disorder (Beck, 1967). Consequently, the various instruments that have been developed to screen people in general for depression or measure the severity of depression in patients who have already been diagnosed with psychiatric disorders may stress different behavioral signs and self-reported symptoms. For example, the Beck Depression Inventory FastScreen for Medical Settings (Beck, Steer, & Brown, 2000) and the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS; Yesavage, Brink, Rose, Lum, Huang et al., 1983) do not contain any somatic symptoms of depression, such as loss of appetite, that might be attributable to medical problems. Most scales of depression are internally consistent, yield scores that are moderately stable over time, and are positively associated with other measures of depression (for comprehensive reviews of specific scales, see Beckham & Leber, 1995; Marsella, Hirschfeld, & Katz, 1987; Reynolds, ...