Objective: To compare the effectiveness of the Minimum Data Set-based Depression Rating Scale (MDS-DRS) and Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) in screening depression among older institutionalized Chinese men living in Taiwan. Method: MDS Nursing Home 2.1 Chinese version, Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE), and short form Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS-15) were used among elderly residents in Banciao Veterans Home. Screening results of MDS-DRS and GDS-15, and relationship between 16 MDS Mood and Anxiety symptoms and depression were evaluated. Results: The prevalence of depression defined by MDS-DRS and GDS were 0.2% and 8.7%, respectively. Multiple logistic regression disclosed that E1a (OR: 12.9, 95% CI: 2.8-58.8, p = 0.001), E1k (OR: 15.6, 95% CI: 5.6-43.5, p < 0.001), and E1l (OR: 22.2, 95% CI: 6.1-83.3, p < 0.001) were all independent associative factors for GDS-defined depression but only explained 51.9% of all depressive subjects. Conclusions: The effectiveness of MDS-DRS is limited, and a new MDS-based depression screening instrument is needed.