The association between medical diseases and late-life depression: The presence, number, and type of medical diseases
Received: 2020-01-02T16:56:26, Accepted: , Published Online: 10.5505/jaltc.2019.46855
Correspondence: Emre Senol-Durak, firstname.lastname@example.org
Medical diseases are highly prevalent among older adults and lead to several changes in psycho-social life. One effect of those problems is seen on depression. On the other hand, whether the type or the number of medical diseases are associated with late-life depression have not examined in the literature. The aim of the present study is to examine whether the place of residence, type of illnesses or a number of illnesses would make a difference on late-life depression. For this purpose, older adults living at home (N= 1100) and nursing home (N=1177) participated in the present study. The Demographic Information Form, including the type and number of medical diseases, and the Geriatric Depression Inventory were applied. Results demonstrated that older adults having two or more medical diseases had higher scores of late-life depression than those with one medical disease and those without suffering any medical disease. Older adults with suffering only psychiatric disease or digestive system disease had a higher level of late-life depression. Besides, older adults having chronic medical diseases had higher scores of late-life depression such as patients with psychiatric disorders, digestive system diseases, cardiovascular system diseases, metabolic and endocrine disorders, rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases, central nervous system - neurological disorders, urinary system diseases, and sensory system disease. Results were discussed in the light of literature about medical diseases, late-life depression, and caring needs of older adults.
Key Practitioners Message
- Older adults with chronic disease experience higher depression than the other ones.
- Developing screening tools among older adults with physical problems are recommended since there are some overlapping symptoms of depression and medical illnesses among patients with medical diseases in late-adulthood.
- Educating doctors about early recognition of depression among older adults are encouraged when dealing with multiple diseases.
- Giving information to older adults about medical disease is also recommended to handle depression.