You are a gerontological counselor who works with elderly people and their families. You need to evaluate a new depression inventory to determine if it would be appropriate to use with your clients. Using the information provided below, describe the strengths and weakness of the instrument (make sure to address all information necessary in evaluating and selecting an assessment instrument). Based on your evaluation, would you use this instrument? Why or why not?
Depression Inventory for the Elderly (DIE)
Purpose: Designed for assessment of self-rating of depressive symptoms in older adults.
Population: Adults, age 65 and older.
Score: The inventory provides a Total Score and five Primary Dimensions: Negative Mood, Interpersonal Problems, Ineffectiveness, Anhedonia, and Negative Self Esteem.
Time: 35 minutes
The DIE has been designed to measure depressive symptoms for elderly individuals. The self-administered inventory consists of 90 items related to such depressive symptoms as depressed mood, withdrawal, feelings of guilt and worthlessness, difficultly making decisions, vegetative functions, selfevaluation and interpersonal behaviors.
The inventory uses a 5-point scale of distress (04), ranging from not at all (0) to extremely (4). The DIE yields raw scores and T scores for the Total Score and Primary Dimension scores. Results are hand scored. T scores above 65 on the Total Score and the Primary Dimensions are considered in the clinical range.
The normative sample included 1266 retired individuals residing in Florida age 65 to 91. There were 350 men between the ages of 65 and 85, and 750 women ages 65 to 91. The population was mostly middle to upper class retirees.
Internal consistency reliability has been found to be range from .71 to .89 with various samples.
Test-retest reliability correlations appear to be acceptable. It is however expected that the symptoms of depression would change over time, and regression to the mean is associated with repeated testing over time.
Three research studies have evaluated the DIE in assessing constructs both for concurrent and predictive uses in characterizing symptoms of depression in older adults. The studies report the DIE successfully distinguishes individuals without depression from depressed individuals.