Healthcare and Medicine Reference
The CES-D Depression
Scale — Useful in Determining
One of the most common screening tests for depression and burnout is
the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D), origi-
nally developed by Lenore Radloff (1977) while she was a researcher at
the National Institute of Mental Health. This quick self-test measures
depressive feelings and behaviors during the past week. The test is in the
public domain and does not require permission to use. Scoring instruc-
tions and the meaning of scores are given at the end of the test.
Almost 85% of those found to have depression after an in-depth struc-
tured interview with a psychiatrist will have a high score on the CES-D.
However, about 20% of those who score high on the CES-D will have
rapid resolution of their symptoms and will not meet full criteria for
major or clinical depression. This is particularly important if you equate
depression with burnout. Changes in job assignment, working conditions,
and co-workers can quickly lead to improvements in burnout.
High scores should be viewed with concern and appropriate mental
health professionals should be contacted to assess the level of depression;
it's serious and there is potential for improvement through medication
Taking the CES-D
Please note: This test will only be scored correctly if you answer each
one of the questions honestly. It's usually best to give the first answer that
comes to mind and not dwell on it. Circle the correct answer and then
go to the scoring guide at the end of the test to calculate your score.
I was bothered by things that don't usually bother me.
a. Rarely or none of the time ( , 1day)
b. Some or a little of the time (1 2 days)
c. Occasionally or a moderate amount of the time (3 4 days)
d. Most or all of the time (5 7 days)
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