Use of the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D) Scale in Korea

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We translated the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression (CES-D) Scale into Korean, paying careful attention to culturally different modes of expression of depressive feelings and thoughts. The final translated version (CES-D-K) was administered to 164 psychiatric patients and 464 normal subjects residing in the community. Reliability, validity, and the optimal cutoff point of this scale were estimated, including ROC analysis. The CES-D-K was reliable and valid for the Korean population. Two optimal cutoff points were suggested: 24/25, the point which best corresponded to the clinical diagnosis of depression, and 20/21, which most effectively detects and covers depressive symptoms during screening. The higher cutoff points than those in Western countries may be due to different ways of expressing affect, especially the suppression of positive affect, in cultures based on Confucian ethics.

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