European Geriatric Medicine

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 121–126 | Cite as

Validation of the 8-item Centre for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale in a cohort of community-dwelling older people: data from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA)

  • R. BriggsEmail author
  • D. Carey
  • A. M. O’Halloran
  • R. A. Kenny
  • S. P. Kennelly
Brief Report



The aim of this study was to validate the 8-item Centre for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale (CES-D-8) against the 20-item version (CES-D-20) in a large sample of community-dwelling older people.


Scales were compared for correlation and internal consistency. The ideal cut-off score for the CES-D-8 was determined by comparing scores ranging from 7 to 12 on the CES-D-8 to CES-D-20.


8033 participants were included. The Spearman co-efficient between the scales was 0.8980 indicating high degree of correlation. At a score of 9/24, the sensitivity and specificity of the CES-D-8 were 98 and 83%, respectively. The Cohen’s κ for a score of 9 was 0.7855, indicating strong agreement and the ROC area was 0.88.


When compared to the CES-D-20, the CES-D-8 is a valid and reliable measure of depressive symptoms in community-dwelling older people, and a score of 9 can be used to identify those with clinically significant symptoms.


Depression CES-D Validation 



This work was supported by the Irish Government, the Atlantic Philanthropies and Irish Life plc. These funders had no involvement in the study design, collection, analysis and interpretation of data, writing of the paper or submission for publication. Any views expressed in this report are not necessarily those of the Department of Health and Children or of the Minister for Health.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Ethical approval

The study was approved by the Faculty of Health Sciences Research Ethics Committee at Trinity College Dublin. All experimental procedures adhered to the Declaration of Helsinki.

Informed consent

All participants gave informed written consent.


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Copyright information

© European Geriatric Medicine Society 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Briggs
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  • D. Carey
    • 1
  • A. M. O’Halloran
    • 1
  • R. A. Kenny
    • 1
    • 2
  • S. P. Kennelly
    • 3
  1. 1.The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA)Trinity College DublinDublinIreland
  2. 2.Mercer’s Institute for Successful AgeingSt James’s HospitalDublinIreland
  3. 3.Age-related Health CareTallaght HospitalDublinIreland

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