Author(s): Djernes JK
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: To offer an update on prevalence and predictors of old age depression in populations of elderly Caucasians. METHOD: The databases MEDLINE and Psychinfo were searched and relevant literature from 1993 onwards was reviewed. RESULTS: The prevalence of major depression ranges from 0.9\% to 9.4\% in private households, from 14\% to 42\% in institutional living, and from 1\% to 16\% among elderly living in private households or in institutions; and clinically relevant depressive symptom 'cases' in similar settings vary between 7.2\% and 49\%. The main predictors of depressive disorders and depressive symptom cases are: female gender, somatic illness, cognitive impairment, functional impairment, lack or loss of close social contacts, and a history of depression. CONCLUSION: Depression is frequent in populations of elderly. Methodological differences between the studies hinder consistent conclusions about geographical and cross-cultural variations in prevalence and predictors of depression. Improved comparability will provide a basis for consistent conclusions.
This article was published in Acta Psychiatr Scand
and referenced in Journal of Gerontology & Geriatric Research