Depression, physical health and somatic complaints in the elderly: A study of the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale

J. Steuer, L. Bank, E. J. Olsen, L. F. Jarvik

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The relationships between depression, measured by the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale (SDS), somatic symptoms based on self-reports, and health based on medical evaluations, were investigated in 60 depressed older persons (median age 64.5 years) in relatively good physical health. No relationship was found between health ratings and depression scores, but a significant association emerged between a Somatic Symptom subscale, specifically the single item of fatiguability, physicians' ratings of health, and depression scores. Results of factor analyses of the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale were similar to those reported in previous studies and indicated a factor structure apparently based on the positioning of the positively and negatively worded items. It is suggested, therefore, that further investigations be carried out to evaluate the possible response bias on this scale.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)683-688
Number of pages6
JournalJournals of Gerontology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1980


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging

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