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Normal Aging or Depression? A Qualitative Study on the Differences Between Subsyndromal Depression and Depression in Very Old People.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuro and Inflammation Science. Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Local Health Care Services in Central Östergötland, Department of Geriatric Medicine in Linköping. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Social and Welfare Studies, Division of Health, Activity and Care. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Local Health Care Services in East Östergötland, Department of Advanced Home Care in Norrköping. Region Östergötland, Local Health Care Services in East Östergötland, Center of Palliative Care.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuro and Inflammation Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Local Health Care Services in Central Östergötland, Department of Geriatric Medicine in Linköping.
Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Division of Neuro and Inflammation Science. Linköping University, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. Region Östergötland, Local Health Care Services in Central Östergötland, Department of Geriatric Medicine in Linköping.
2015 (English)In: The gerontologist, ISSN 0016-9013, E-ISSN 1758-5341, Vol. 55, no 5, 760-769 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose of the Study: The aim of this study was to make a qualitative comparison of experiences of being in very old people with subsyndromal depression (SSD), in relation to the experiences of very old people with syndromal depression or nondepression. Through investigation and deeper understanding of the interface between depressive disease and normal aging, clinicians might give more accurate prevention or treatment to those very old persons who need such help.

DESIGN AND METHODS: Semistructured qualitative interviews were conducted for 27 individuals of 87-88 years of age, who were categorized in the 3 strata of nondepressive, SSD, and syndromal depression. Transcripts were analyzed using qualitative content analysis within each stratum and later with a comparison between the strata.

RESULTS: The content analysis resulted in 4 themes in people with SSD, as defined by a self-report depression screening instrument, giving a comprehensive picture of SSD in very old people, and also showed qualitative differences between the SSD, syndromal depression, and nondepressive groups. A main finding was that SSD differs qualitatively from syndromal depression but not clearly from nondepression.

IMPLICATIONS: The results might indicate that SSD in very old people is not related to pathology but to normal aging, even though the condition correlates with negative health parameters. Overlooking certain psychosocial aspects of living in the very old may pose a risk of both underdiagnosis and overdiagnosis in the spectrum of depressive disorders.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 55, no 5, 760-769 p.
Keyword [en]
Coping, Frailty, Healthy aging, Subthreshold depression, Successful aging
National Category
Psychiatry Geriatrics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-120848DOI: 10.1093/geront/gnt162ISI: 000362984500006PubMedID: 24398652OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-120848DiVA: diva2:849202
Funder
Östergötland County Council
Available from: 2015-08-27 Created: 2015-08-27 Last updated: 2016-03-29Bibliographically approved

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Ludvigsson, MikaelMilberg, AnnaMarcusson, JanWressle, Ewa
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Division of Neuro and Inflammation ScienceDepartment of Geriatric Medicine in LinköpingFaculty of Medicine and Health SciencesDivision of Health, Activity and CareDepartment of Advanced Home Care in NorrköpingCenter of Palliative CareDepartment of Geriatric Medicine in Linköping
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The gerontologist
PsychiatryGeriatrics

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