Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Depression and functional problems in older people

Depression is among the most common health problems in older people, particularly those in long-term care. Some studies have found up to 65% of people in old people's homes reporting symptoms of depression. Given the influence of depression on physical health and quality of life and the growing number of people in long-term care understanding the factors associated with depression in residential homes is important. Functional difficulties (the inability to do things) have often been associated with depression but it is unclear which particular difficulties have the greatest influence. A Czech study of 308 older adults in residential facilities measured people's cognitive function, general ability to perform basic activities of daily living, mobility and functional limitation by pain. The researchers found that cognitive function and functional limitation by pain were most strongly associated with depressive symptoms although the other functional difficulties also led to an increased risk for depression.

Vankova, Hana ... [et al] - Functional status and depressive symptoms among older adults from residential care facilities in the Czech republic International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 2008, 23(5), 466-471

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