OBJECTIVE: The Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) is a 20-item, self-report metric intended to measure depression. Despite being one of the most popular depression scales, the psychometric properties, specifically the underlying factor structure of the scale, have come under scrutiny. The latent structure of a scale is a key indicator of its construct validity, i.e. the degree to which the intended variable is captured. To date, a comprehensive review of the latent structure of the CES-D in older adult populations (≥65 years old) has not been conducted. We aimed to examine the latent structure of the CES-D in samples of older adults to assess its ability to capture depressive symptoms.

METHODS: A systematic review across Scopus, Web of Science, and PsycINFO databases was conducted. Original studies conducting latent variable analysis of the 20-item CES-D in samples aged ≥65 years old were included.

RESULTS: Included studies (n = 6) were primarily conducted with community-dwelling older adults in the United States. Studies that conducted exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis (n = 2) revealed two latent factors, whereas those conducting confirmatory factor analysis of previously identified structures (n = 4) revealed four-factor structures in line with the original four-factor structure.

CONCLUSIONS: A general alignment with the original four-factor structure of the CES-D provides tentative support for continued use amongst older adults; however, further research is required to provide conclusive evidence for these psychometric properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalAging & mental health
Early online date19 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jan 2019


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