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Clin Nurs Res. 1993 May;2(2):128-44; discussion 144-7.

Community elders: prevalence and correlates of depressive symptoms.


This pilot study examined the prevalence and correlates of depressive symptoms among community-dwelling elders 75 years of age and older. Forty subjects were recruited from a research volunteer pool. Cross-sectional data were collected during structured in-home interviews. High depressive symptoms were reported by 10 (25%) of the elders; of these, 8 were males. Depressive symptoms were positively related to the need for instrumental support. Higher depressive symptoms were associated with poorer functional health status and self-rated health and with lower morale, life satisfaction, and quality of life. Nurses working with community-dwelling elders 75 years of age or older should be alert for depressive symptoms among those with indications of poor physical and functional health, and instrumental support needs should be assessed. Further investigation into the age/gender issue as it relates to the development of depressive symptoms is warranted.

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