Differentiated nursing assessment of depressive symptoms in community-dwelling elders.

L. L. Onega, I. L. Abraham

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Because of the complexity in assessing elders for depressive symptoms, we recommend that nurses use a differentiated approach as an adjunct to clinical judgment and other assessment strategies. Based on our research and clinical experience, we advocate the joint use of the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression and the Dementia Mood Assessment Scale, and propose a two-tiered assessment process. The first differentiation in this process is made by means of a cut-off score to determine whether or not depressive symptoms exist. If depressive symptoms are present, a second system of differentiation may be employed to identify discrete symptom factors. Application of this differentiated approach will enable the nurse to better understand and design interventions for each elder's specific presentation of depressive symptoms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-416
Number of pages10
JournalThe Nursing clinics of North America
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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