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The Philadelphia Geriatric Center Morale Scale (PGCMS) in its British form has been frequently used in the last ten years as a measure of well-being in social gerontological studies in the UK [14, 15].
The Southampton Self-esteem and Sources of Self-esteem Scale (SSESS) seeks to measure a concept more specific than well-being and one which is recognized to be of particular theoretical significance to the study of ageing [9, 19].Like the PGCMS it was developed to provide a measure more appropriate for use with people of increased physical and mental frailty than standard measures of self-esteem such as the Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale .
Between November 1990 and March 1991 the PGCMS and SSESS were successfully administered to 101 patients (30 men and 71 women) aged between 66 and 94 and with a mean age of 84.7 years (SD 6.1) on acute elderly care wards by a fourth-year medical student as part of an undergraduate project.
Between May and December 1991 the PGCMS and GDS were administered to 120 patients (46 men and 74 women) aged between 70 and 98 and with a mean age of 85.8 years (SD 5.0) by research nurses employed on a study of indicators in geriatric care.
In every case, apart from the BABS, the percentage of the variance accounted for by the unrotated first factor was much higher than that of succeeding factors, and ranged from 37% and 35% for the two uses of the SSESS, 27% and 26% for the two uses of the PGCMS, and 25% and 22% for the two uses of the GDS.
Figure 3 demonstrates that patients with GDS-30s of > 11, usually have lower PGCMS than patients with GDS-30s of <11.
This study confirmed the impression of nursing staff that there was considerable similarity in the data provided by the PGCMS and GDS.
The spread of depression scores at the low-well-being end of the PGCMS, SSESS and BABS suggests that the latter cannot function as indicators of clinical depression, although validation against a psychiatrist's diagnosis of depression would be a better test of the potential of low-well-being scores to identify clinical depression.
The GDS has been little used in non-clinical contexts and we do not yet know, for example, whether the GDS would function as well as the PGCMS in showing the effects of service intervention on quality of life.
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