The Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CESD) was created in 1977 by Laurie Radloff, 1 and revised in 2004 by William Eaton and others.2 The CESD has been the workhorse of depression epidemiology since its first use in the Community Mental Health Assessment Surveys in the 1970’s,3,4 and use in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys.5 It has survived transition to the telephone as well as a self-administered version, and is usable with typically undercounted populations such as the elderly and the economically disadvantaged.
The scale is well known and remains as one of the most widely used instruments in the field of psychiatric epidemiology.6-9
A review of the history of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale and its uses, as well as a full description of the creation of the revised scale (CESDR) is available.2
Using the CESD-R:
The CESD-R is in the public domain so it is free to use in your research.
- Radloff LS. The CES-D scale: a self-report depression scale for research in the general population. Applied Psychological Measurement. 1977;1:385-401.
- Eaton WW, Muntaner C, Smith C, Tien A, Ybarra M. Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale: Review and revision (CESD and CESD-R). In: Maruish ME, ed. The Use of Psychological Testing for Treatment Planning and Outcomes Assessment. 3rd ed. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum; 2004:363-377.
- Comstock GW, Helsing KJ. Symptoms of depression in two communities. Psychological Medicine. 1976;6(4):551-563.
- Radloff LS, Locke BZ. The community mental health assessment survey and the CES-D Scale. In: Weissman MM, Myers JK, Ross CE, eds. Community surveys of psychiatric disorders. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press; 1986:177-189.
- Eaton WW, Kessler LG. Rates of symptoms of depression in a national sample. American Journal of Epidemiology. 1981;114:528-538.
- Murphy JM. Symptom scales and diagnostic schedules in adult psychiatry. In: Tsuang MT, Tohen M, eds. Textbook in Psychiatric Epidemiology. New York: Wiley-Liss; 2002:273-332.
- Naughton MJ, Wiklund I. A critical review of dimension-specific measures of health-related quality of life in cross-cultural research. Quality of Life Research: An International Journal of Quality of Life Aspects of Treatment, Care & Rehabilitation. 1993;2(6):397-432.
- Snaith P. What do depression rating scales measure? British Journal of Psychiatry. 1993;163:293-298.
- Nezu AM, Nezu CM, McClure KS, Zwick ML. Assessment of depression. In: Gotlieb IH, Hammen CL, eds. Handbook of depression and its treatment. New York, NY: Guilford Press; 2002:61-85.
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