Comparison of diagnostic performance of Two-Question Screen and 15 depression screening instruments for older adults: systematic review and meta-analysis

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Abstract

Background

Screening for depression in older adults is recommended.

Aims

To evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of the Two-Question Screen for older adults and compare it with other screening instruments for depression.

Method

We undertook a literature search for studies assessing the diagnostic performance of depression screening instruments in older adults. Combined diagnostic accuracy including sensitivity and specificity were the primary outcomes. Potential risks of bias and the quality of studies were also assessed.

Results

A total of 46 651 participants from 133 studies were identified evaluating 16 screening instruments. The majority of studies (64/133) used various versions of the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) and 6 used the Two-Question Screen. The combined sensitivity and specificity for the Two-Question Screen were 91.8% (95% CI 85.2–95.6) and 67.7% (95% CI 58.1–76.0), respectively; the diagnostic performance area under the curve (AUC) was 90%. The Two-Question Screen showed comparable performance with other instruments, including clinician-rated scales. The One-Question Screen showed the lowest diagnostic performance with an AUC of 78%. In subgroup analysis, the Two-Question Screen also had good diagnostic performance in screening for major depressive disorder.

Conclusions

The Two-Question Screen is a simple and short instrument for depression screening. Its diagnostic performance is comparable with other instruments and, therefore, it would be favourable to use it for older adult screening programmes.

Declaration of interest

None.

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