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<jats:sec><jats:title>Background</jats:title><jats:p>There is no reliable and valid self-report measure of depressive symptoms for people with learning disabilities.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Aims</jats:title><jats:p>To develop a scale for individuals with learning disability, and a supplementary scale for carers.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Method</jats:title><jats:p>Items were generated from a range of assessment scales and through focus groups. A draft scale was piloted and field tested using matched groups of people with or without depression, and their carers. The scale was also administered to a group without learning disabilities for criterion validation.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Results</jats:title><jats:p>The Glasgow Depression Scale for people with a Learning Disability (GDS–LD) differentiated depression and non-depression groups, correlated with the Beck Depression Inventory – II (<jats:italic>r</jats:italic>=0.88), had good test – retest reliability (<jats:italic>r</jats:italic>=0.97) and internal consistency (Cronbach's α=0.90), and a cut-off score (13) yielded 96% sensitivity and 90% specificity. The Carer Supplement was also reliable (<jats:italic>r</jats:italic>=0.98; α=0.88), correlating with the GDS–LD (<jats:italic>r</jats:italic>=0.93).</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Conclusions</jats:title><jats:p>Both scales appear useful for screening, monitoring progress and contributing to outcome appraisal.</jats:p></jats:sec>

Original publication




Journal article


British Journal of Psychiatry


Royal College of Psychiatrists

Publication Date





347 - 353