alexa A prospective study of widowhood and changes in symptoms of depression in a community sample of the elderly.
Medicine

Medicine

Journal of Gerontology & Geriatric Research

Author(s): Mendes de Leon CF, Kasl SV, Jacobs S

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Abstract This survey examines changes in depressive symptomatology (CES-D) during bereavement in 1046 elderly subjects, of whom 139 became widowed during follow-up. Depression scores increased during the first year of bereavement, but generally returned to pre-widowhood levels thereafter. However, depression scores remained elevated among young-old widows (65-74-year-olds) well after the first year of widowhood. Using cut-off scores, rates of high depressive symptoms remained somewhat elevated over baseline levels. Increases in depression scores during bereavement were not explained by socio-economic variables, health habits and health status. It is concluded that particularly young-old widows are at risk of developing chronic depressive symptomatology during bereavement that may warrant clinical attention.
This article was published in Psychol Med and referenced in Journal of Gerontology & Geriatric Research

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