Development of the EURO-D Scale – A European, Union Initiative to Compare Symptoms of Depression in 14 European Centers

Department of Psychiatry, VU University Amsterdam, Amsterdamo, North Holland, Netherlands
The British Journal of Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 7.99). 05/1999; 174(4):330-8. DOI: 10.1192/bjp.174.4.330
Source: PubMed


In an 11-country European collaboration, 14 population-based surveys included 21,724 subjects aged > or = 65 years. Most participating centres used the Geriatric Mental State (GMS), but other measures were also used.
To derive from these instruments a common depression symptoms scale, the EURO-D, to allow comparison of risk factor profiles between centres.
Common items were identified from the instruments. Algorithms for fitting items to GMS were derived by observation of item correspondence or expert opinion. The resulting 12-item scale was checked for internal consistency, criterion validity and uniformity of factor-analytic profile.
The EURO-D is internally consistent, capturing the essence of its parent instrument. A two-factor solution seemed appropriate: depression, tearfulness and wishing to die loaded on the first factor (affective suffering), and loss of interest, poor concentration and lack of enjoyment on the second (motivation).
The EURO-D scale should permit valid comparison of risk-factor associations between centres, even if between-centre variation remains difficult to attribute.

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Available from: Brian A Lawlor, Dec 20, 2013
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    • "The first three response options were collated into the category 'good health' and the other two options into the category 'poor health'. Mental health was measured by the EURO-D scale for depression (Prince et al., 1999). The EURO-D scale consisted of twelve items, which were " depressed mood " , " pessimism " , " suicidality " , " guilt " , " sleep " , " interest " , " irritability " , " appetite " , " fatigue " , " concentration " , " enjoyment " and " tearfulness " . "
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    • "In contrast with our results and previous population-based studies, the geographical patterns in the EURODEP studies are somewhat less clear and show some noteworthy deviations. For example, a low prevalence of depressive symptoms is reported in Zaragore in Spain, while the highest prevalence is found in Munich, Germany (Copeland et al., 1999, 2004; Prince et al., 1999). The question arises of whether these differences are related to the more restrictive sampling of one city center per country or whether other mechanisms are at play. "
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    • "SHARE includes the EURO-D as a measure of subjective-well-being. The EURO-D (Prince et al. 1999) includes 12 " yes-or-no " questions about depression, pessimism, suicidality, guilt, sleep, interest, irritability, appetite, fatigue, concentration, enjoyment, and tearfulness during the last month to capture emotional health and well-being. The EURO-D is scored by summing individual items. "
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