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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 57  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 295-300

Depressive symptoms in late life in urban and semi-urban areas of South-West Greece: An undetected disorder?


1 Department of Public Health, School of Medicine, University of Patras; Department of Psychiatry, Panarcadian General Hospital of Tripolis, Greece
2 Department of Public Health, School of Medicine, University of Patras, Greece
3 Health Centre of Andravida, Greece
4 Department of Psychiatry, University Hospital of Patras, Greece

Correspondence Address:
Eleni Jelastopulu
Department of Public Health, School of Medicine, University of Patras, 26500 Rio
Greece
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0019-5545.166617

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Objective: The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence and probable under-diagnosis of depressive symptoms in elderly of an urban and semi-urban area in Greece. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among the members of 4 days care centers for older people (KAPI), three in the municipality of Patras, West-Greece, and in one in Tripolis, Peloponnese, Greece. A total of 378 individuals took part in the study, aged >60 years. A questionnaire was developed to collect basic demographic data, including three questions from the European Health Interview Survey, regarding self-reported or by a physician-diagnosed depression. Moreover, to all participants the Greek validated version of the Geriatric Depression Scale-15 (GDS-15) was applied, to screen for depressive symptoms. Results: According to GDS-15, 48.1% of the studied population screened positive for depressive symptoms (38.6% moderate, 9.5% severe), whereas having ever been affected with chronic depression reported 19.0% by themselves. In 162 members of KAPI of Patras and in 106 of Tripolis, who never reported have been affected by depression and depressive symptoms were observed in 27.7% and 44.7%, respectively. In 28 individuals from Patras, who reported not to know if they have depression and in 10 from Tripolis, depressive symptoms were observed in 60.7% and 90%, respectively, applying the GDS-15. Conclusion: Except the high prevalence, the present study reveals a remarkable under-detection of depressive symptoms in older adults. Various interventions in primary care are necessary so as to increase detection rates of depression among the elderly.



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