The CESD-R is a screening test for depression and depressive disorder. The CESD-R measures symptoms defined by the American Psychiatric Association' Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-V) for a major depressive episode.
At the top of each of the following screens, you will see a statement. For each statement, please indicate how often you have felt this way recently by selecting the option you most agree with.Start the CESD-R
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
What is Depression?
Everyone occasionally feels blue or sad, but these feelings are usually fleeting and pass within a few hours or a couple of days. When people have a depressive disorder, they feel really sad for a long time and cannot shake this feeling. It interferes with their ability to do things in their lives that they normally can do well; and it causes pain for both the people with the disorder and those who care about them. Depressive disorder is a common but serious illness. Many people never seek treatment for their depression, but most people who experience depression feel better if they get treatment.
How can I help myself if I am depressed?
If you are unsure where to go for help, ask your family doctor or mental health professional. You can also check the phone book under ‘mental health,’ ‘health,’ ’social services,’ ‘hotlines,’ or ‘physicians’ for phone numbers and addresses. There are many useful online resources as well, including:
An emergency room doctor also can provide temporary help and can tell you where and how to get further help.Back
Below is an explanation of the algorithm used to calculate the depression scores and categories, intended for researchers who may want to use the CESDR.
The 20 items in CESDR scale measure symptoms of depression in nine different groups as defined by the American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, fifth edition. These symptom groups are shown below, with their associated scale question numbers to the right.
Calculating the overall CESD-style symptom score
The response values for each question are:
The Total CESD-R Score is calculated as a sum of responses to all 20 questions. In order to make the revised CESD-R have the same range as the original version i.e., the 'CESD style score'), the values for the top two responses are given the same value:
As in the original CESD the range of possible scores is between 0 (for those who say 'not at all or less than one day to all 20 questions' and 60 (for those who say '5-7 days' or 'nearly every day for 2 weeks' for all 20 questions).
The determination of possible depressive symptom category is based upon an algorithm with the following logic: