Research indicates substantial variability between males in the ways in which symptoms of depression are expressed. Accordingly, many researchers and clinicians have begun to question the adequacy of detecting depression in males by the sole utilisation of current standardised outcome measures such as the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10) and the Depression Anxiety Stress Scales (DASS).
In addressing this, the Gotland Male Depression Scale (GMDS; Zierau, Billie, Rutz & Bech, 2002) was developed by psychiatrists in Sweden as a screening tool for a range of distress behaviours theorised to reflect a masculine appropriate manifestation of depression. This study reports the psychometric validity of the GMDS in an Australian community sample of 692 participants and a comparison of clinical utility with the DASS depression scale.
Factor analysis failed to replicate previously published factor structure for the GMDS. MANOVA failed to indicate any gender differences across depression subscales (p’s >.05). Analysis of GMDS clinical categories (normal, mild, moderate) failed to report gender differences in those categorised by the GMDS as showing possible, or clear signs of depression. The GMDS did however identify 127 cases (males = 57) of possible, or clear depression that were identified as within the normal range by the DASS depression scale. Results indicate the need for further research into the construct and assessment of male depression. Implications for GPs and mental health workers adopting gender specific outcome measures are discussed with reference to gender norms and consultation time constraints.
Zierau, F., Bille, A., Rutz, W., & Bech. P. (2002). The Gotland Male Depression Scale: A validity study in patients with alcohol use disorder. Nordic Journal of Psychiatry, 56, 265-271.