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Aging Ment Health. 2015;19(12):1078-83. doi: 10.1080/13607863.2014.977775. Epub 2014 Nov 17.

Inner strength - associated with reduced prevalence of depression among older women.

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a Faculty of Nursing, Åland University of Applied Sciences , Mariehamn , Finland.



The aim of this study was to explore if inner strength is independently associated with a reduced prevalence of depression after controlling for other known risk factors associated with depression.


A population-based cross-sectional study was performed, where all women living in Åland, a Finnish self-govern island community in the Baltic Sea, aged 65 years or older were sent a questionnaire including the Geriatric Depression Scale and the Inner Strength Scale along with several other questions related to depression. Factors associated with depression were analyzed by means of multivariate logistic regression.


The results showed that 11.2% of the studied women (n = 1452) were depressed and that the prevalence increased with age and was as high as 20% in the oldest age group. Non-depressed women were more likely to never or seldom feel lonely, have a strong inner strength, take fewer prescription drugs, feeling needed, being able to engage in meaningful leisure activities, as well as cohabit.


Our results showed an association between stronger inner strength and being non-depressed. This can be interpreted to mean that inner strength might have a protective effect against depression. These findings are interesting from a health-promotion perspective, yet to verify these results, further longitudinal studies are required.


GDS-15; depression; inner strength; old age; women

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