Quarterly scientific journal

Prevalence of depression among elderly on open care centers for older people

Christina Stylianopoulou , George Koulierakis , Vilma Karagianni , Fotoula Babatsikou , Charilaos Koutis


Depression in the elderly is considered an important public health issue. Depression is the most common mental health problem among older people. It poses a critical impact on well-being and the quality of life of elderly and it is related with high expenses and great demand of health care services. Objective: To estimate the prevalence of depression among elderly in an urban area’s population and to investigate the aggravating and protective factors. Material and Method: The sample consisted of 360 individuals, 218 women and 142 men, aged 60 years or older, members of the four Open Care Centres for Older People (KAPI) of Agioi Anargyroi Municipality, in Attica. A questionnaire for demographics and phycho-social factors was used, whereas depression was probed through Geriatric Depression Scale, (Short Form - GDS-15), which has been standardized and adapted in a Greek elderly population. Results: 30,28% of the sample had depressive symptoms (22,22% moderate and 8,06% serious-clinical type depression). It was also shown that depression at women (70,6%) appeared in a percentage over than the double against men (29,4%). The symptomatology of depression occurred widely among widower/widows, elderly being divorced or separated, people living alone, those with multiple pathologies and elderly informal family carers. Symptomatology of depression appeared in a lower rate among elderly who took care of their grandchildren or participated in social activities. Conclusions: The ascertainment high percentage of depressive symptoms in our sample of elderly population confirms the emergency of creating a strong psycho-social supporting network aimed to prevent depression among elderly and health promotion in the elderly in the context of Primary Health Care (PHC).

Keywords: Depression, elderly, supportive network, urban area’s population, KAPI

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