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Author Sherry A. Greenberg responds:

 

1. Usually, yes. After obtaining a full history and having an idea that the patient might be depressed, I often say to the patient, "I would like to ask you some questions about your mood. Please answer 'yes' or 'no' for each question." If the patient needs more direction, I'll immediately start asking the questions; this prevents the patient from changing the subject-especially if the patient has dementia. I usually ask family members to step out of the room for both depression and dementia screening so that they don't answer for the patient or influence the patient's answers.After reading the How to Try This article, watch the accompanying video (http://links.lww.com/A101). The clinician does a great job of demonstrating how to introduce the GDS: SF to the patient (and the patient knows that she is being screened for depression). Also go to the How to Try This site (http://www.nursingcenter.com/AJNolderadults) for other articles and videos on assessing mental status.

 

2. The DSM-IV-TR is the gold standard for diagnosing psychiatric problems. It may be used as a guide for anyone at any level in any discipline, but the diagnosis of depression-or any other medical condition-is done by the physician, psychiatrist, or advanced practice nurse. The GDS: SF is a tool for screening for, not diagnosing, depression.

 

3. All approved translations of the GDS (both short and long versions) appear at http://www.stanford.edu/~yesavage/GDS.html. Tagalog is not one of them.

 

 

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