Depressive symptoms in the elderly are highly prevalent. Moreover, previous studies into late life depression showed low rates of recognition and treatment. It had been assumed that the elderly in residential homes were especially vulnerable to development of depression, since known risk factors (for example, interpersonal losses and multiple somatic problems) are highly prevalent there. In turn, these factors may mask depressive symptoms, thereby complicating recognition and treatment. This thesis focuses on depression occurring in the elderly living in residential homes. It presents data on prevalence, risk factors and recognition of depression. In addition, the effects of Project Early Detection of GGZ Drenthe (a mental healthcare unit in the province of Drenthe,The Netherlands) has been evaluated. Project Early Detection is meant to enhance detection and treatment of depressive symptoms in the elderly in residential homes. A randomised controlled trial evaluated these effects. The study took place within the framework of the Amsterdam Groningen:Elderly and Depression Study (AGED). We focused on the elderly living in residential homes, whereas our partners at the Free University of Amsterdam studied patients of nursing homes in the area of the Randstad. This thesis also includes a comparative study of these two populations.
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Publication status||Published - 2005|