Prevalence Rates of Major Depressive Disorders: The Effects of Varying the Diagnostic Criteria in an Older Primary Care Population

Hugh C. Hendrie, Christopher M. Callahan, Eugene E. Levitt, Siu L. Hui, Beverly Mustek, Mary G. Austrom, John I. Numberger, William M. Tierney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Patients age 60 years and older (N = 3,767) were screened for depression using the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). A random sample of patients scoring ≥ 16 on the CES-D (n = 44) and of patients scoring < 16 (n = 81) were recruited to complete a structured psychiatric interview. The estimated prevalence of major depressive disorder (MDD), using a clinically derived diagnosis with the 'etiological' method, was 1.78%. When a computer-generated algorithm for MDD using the 'inclusive' method for counting somatic symptoms was applied, the estimated prevalence for MDD rose to 5.84%. All subjects with MDD diagnosed by any method had significantly higher scores on the Sickness Impact Profile (SIP), compared with nondepressed subjects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)119-131
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1995


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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