This study explores the factor structure of the 30-item Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) obtained from a sample of elderly adults who were diagnosed with some level of cognitive impairment. Principle components analysis obtained a four-factor solution utilizing all 30 GDS items. The derived factors were labeled Dysphoria, Meaninglessness, Apathy, and Cognitive Impairment. Although differences in factor structure were noted, some commonalities exist between this and former factor solutions conducted on healthy elderly populations. Further validation of this factor structure in the cognitively impaired elderly may provide another point of validation during clinical assessment and research when attempting to distinguish between geriatric depression, the onset of dementia, or a combination of these conditions.
- Differential diagnosis