Determinants of receiving mental health care for depression in older adults

Floor Holvast*, Peter F. M. Verhaak, Janny H. Dekker, Margot W. M. de Waal, Harm W. J. van Marwijk, Brenda W. J. H. Penninx, Hannie Comijs

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Background: Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is common among elderly people. However, it appears that only a minority receives treatment. This study aims to identify and analyse the factors that determine whether elderly people with depressive disorders have contact with health care professionals for mental problems.

Method: Cross-sectional analysis of cohort data collected in the Netherlands Study of Depression in Older persons (NESDO) and the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety (NESDA) among 167 respondents aged >= 55 with a depressive disorder as indicated by the CIDI. Contacts for mental health problems during the past six months (TiC-P), and indicators of predisposing, enabling, and objective need factors were assessed by interview.

Results: Of the total sample, 70% had contact for mental health problems, almost entirely within primary care (62%). The odds of having contact increased with advancing age; for respondents born in the Netherlands; for those who felt less lonely; and for those with a higher household income.

Limitations: Our study is based on base-line interviews and thus has a cross-sectional character. Therefore, causal conclusions cannot be drawn. Furthermore, we studied the respondents' perception whether mental health care was received.

Conclusions: The contact rate for mental health problems is high. Health care professionals should be aware that having contact is not associated with a higher objective need, but rather with increasing age, being Dutch-born, being less lonely and having a higher household income. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-74
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume143
Issue number1-3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20-Dec-2012

Keywords

  • Depressive disorder/Depression
  • Aged
  • Health care delivery/Mental health services
  • Primary care
  • LATER LIFE
  • PSYCHOMETRIC PROPERTIES
  • PERCEIVED NEED
  • MINOR DEPRESSION
  • BEHAVIORAL-MODEL
  • RISK-FACTORS
  • ANXIETY
  • POPULATION
  • INVENTORY
  • SERVICES

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