How Sad: The Geriatric Depression Scale Quiz

Estimated Completion Time
3 min
How Sad: The Geriatric Depression Scale Quiz
Image: iStockphoto/Thinkstock

About This Quiz

Late-life depression is a growing health concern as Baby Boomers age and exhibit a higher incidence of mental health issues than previous generations. One well-known tool that screens older people for depression is the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), which has proven very effective in identifying people who need help. How much do you know about depression late in life? Take the quiz.
The Geriatric Depression Scale screens older people for depression. Which of these is NOT another depression screening tool?
Marshall Depression Evaluation
The Geriatric Depression Scale, the Zung Depression Rating Scale and the Beck Depression Inventory are all tools used for screening depression. (We made up the Marshall Depression Evaluation.)
Zung Depression Rating Scale
Beck Depression Inventory

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Geriatric Depression Scale questions are structured to be answered in what way?
multiple choice
yes or no
The GDS requires only yes or no answers. This has been cited by some as the reason it's so effective -- it's very simple and doesn't confuse people.
short essay

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Who developed the Geriatric Depression Scale?
Dr. Jerome Yesavage
Dr. Virginia Apgar developed the Apgar score, a way of rating the health of newborn babies. Dr. Drake Ramoray is a character from the TV show "Friends." Dr. Jerome Yesavage helped develop the Geriatric Depression Scale.
Dr. Drake Ramoray
Dr. Virginia Apgar

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Women are more likely than men to experience depression by what percentage?
50 percent
70 percent
Women are 70 percent more likely than men to experience depression, although older men with depression are more likely to commit suicide.
85 percent

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Which of these treatments has come back into vogue after proving effective in treating late-life depression?
electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) has proven very effective in treating depression in older adults who can't tolerate antidepressants. Lobotomies and ice baths are still decidedly unpopular as treatments for mental illness.
ice baths
lobotomy

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According to the Administration on Aging, people older than 65 will make up what percentage of the U.S. population by 2030?
12 percent
19 percent
By 2030, it's estimated that people 65 and older will make up 19 percent of the U.S. population, a big jump from previous generations.
24 percent

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Late-life depression presents differently from depression in other stages of life in that it frequently results in:
executive dysfunction
Late-life depression can present differently than depression with an earlier onset. Often, executive dysfunction is an issue. Someone with late-life depression may have trouble with response inhibition, for example. Sleeping either too little or too much is a symptom of depression in all age groups, whereas a rash is not considered to be a symptom of depression at all.
disordered sleeping
rashes

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Which of these statements is NOT true?
Depression is not a natural part of aging.
Depression is a normal reaction to being hospitalized for an illness.
Depression following hospitalization for an illness shouldn't be considered normal; rather, the person is in need of treatment. It's true that depression is not a natural part of aging, despite a societal tendency to view aging as depressing.
Depression is a medical disorder requiring treatment.

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Which of these groups is identified as being at a high risk for geriatric depression?
grandparents
members of the military
widows/widowers
Widows and widowers are considered to be at a higher risk for depression than people who remain married.

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How do aging Baby Boomers compare to previous generations when it comes to depression?
Aging Baby Boomers have a lower rate of late-life depression than previous generations.
Aging Baby Boomers have a rate of late-life depression comparable to that of previous generations.
Aging Baby Boomers have a higher rate of late-life depression than previous generations.
Aging Baby Boomers have a higher incidence of late-life depression than previous generations have. Mental health in late life is a public health concern.

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Which of these statements is true?
Older adults have higher suicide rates than any other age group.
Despite what you may think from watching the news, older adults have higher suicide rates than any other age group.
Older adults have slightly lower suicide rates than teenagers.
Older adults have a low suicide rate as an age group, but they are more likely to be victims of accidental death.

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According to one study, more than a third of older adults who committed suicide saw their doctor within what time frame?
a week before their death
Within a week of their death, more than a third of older adults who committed suicide saw their doctor. Almost all the rest saw their doctor in the previous month. This means that screening and intervention are both possible and necessary in older populations.
a month before their death
a year before their death

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What is the vascular depression hypothesis?
Cerebrovascular disease may predispose, precipitate or perpetuate depression in older people.
The vascular depression hypothesis is that cerebrovascular disease, also known as CVD, may predispose, precipitate or perpetuate depression in people with certain neurological conditions. The other two answer choices are nonsense.
Depression is caused by abnormalities in heart valves.
Aging causes blood vessels to shrink, thereby affecting how serotonin travels through the brain.

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Dr. Jerome Yesavage, developer of the Geriatric Depression Scale, is a professor at what university?
Yale
Harvard
Stanford
Yesavage, who helped develop the GDS, is a professor at Stanford.

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Which of these illnesses is NOT known for causing depression?
thyroid disease
Parkinson's disease
Lambert's neuropathy
Thyroid disease and Parkinson's are both known for having depression as a symptom. Lambert's neuropathy is a made-up disease.

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Which of these drugs used to treat depression is an SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor)?
fluoxetine
Fluoxetine, more commonly known by the brand name Prozac, is an SSRI. Bupropion, sold under the name Wellbutrin, is an SNRI, while trazodone is a presynaptic antidepressant.
bupropion
trazodone

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What is a common alternative treatment for depression?
snake venom
St. John's wort
St. John's wort is a common alternative treatment for depression. However, just because a substance is natural doesn't mean that it isn't harmful; some herbs can react negatively with prescribed medications, for example. Tell your doctor all medicines you're taking, including supplemental vitamins and herbs.
Argan oil

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The Geriatric Depression Scale is less effective at identifying depression in which group of older people?
those with dementia
The Geriatric Depression Scale is less effective at screening those with dementia for depression.
those who have survived stroke
those with speech disorders

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Depression affects approximately how many of the 31 million people in the U.S. who are older than 65?
2 million
5 million
Right now, depression affects about 5 million people age 65 or older in the U.S.
10 million

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When was the short-form Geriatric Depression Scale developed?
2009
1996
1986
The short-form version of the GDS was developed in 1986.

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You Got:
/20
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