Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Aging Ment Health. 2019 Jan;23(1):100-106. doi: 10.1080/13607863.2017.1396576. Epub 2017 Nov 8.

The role of meaning in life in community-dwelling older adults with depression and relationship to other risk factors.

Author information

1
a Department of Medical Psychology , University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf , Hamburg , Germany.
2
b Department of Psychosocial Prevention , University of Heidelberg , Heidelberg , Germany.
3
c School of Psychology , University Complutense of Madrid , Madrid , Spain.
4
d Nant Foundation , East Vaud Psychiatric Institute , Corsier-sur-Vevey , Switzerland.
5
e Department of Biomedical and Specialty Surgical Sciences , Institute of Psychiatry , University of Ferrara , Ferrara , Italy.
6
f Institute of Medical Biometry and Epidemiology , University Medical Centre Hamburg-Eppendorf , Hamburg , Germany.
7
g Division of Institutional Measures, Medical Direction , University Hospitals of Geneva , Puplinge , Switzerland.
8
h Institute of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy , Technische Universität Dresden , Dresden , Germany.
9
i Institute of Psychology , Alpen-Adria University Klagenfurt , Klagenfurt , Austria.
10
j Department of Psychology , University Witten/Herdecke , Witten , Germany.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

The aims of this study were to examine the association of Meaning in Life (MiL) with sociodemographic and physical factors, and its association with depression in older people.

METHOD:

A cross-sectional survey with a sample of N = 2104 older adults from communities of four European countries was conducted, using an age-appropriate interview for the diagnosis of depression and the Schedule for Meaning in Life Evaluation (SMiLE) questionnaire to assess MiL.

RESULTS:

Overall, MiL was particularly low in old male participants, in older people from Ferrara (Italy), those with a lower religious affiliation, fewer social contacts, and poorer physical health. Furthermore, younger old age (65-69 compared to 80-84 year olds), female gender, being married, living in Geneva and poorer physical health were significantly associated with a higher risk for depression. In addition, lower MiL significantly increased the likelihood to suffer from depression in older people. An interaction effect of study center and MiL also emerged: with decreasing MiL the risk for depression significantly increases in Hamburg compared to the other study centers.

CONCLUSION:

This study underlines the association of MiL and depression in old age. Integration of meaning-specific aspects in treatment for older adults with depression may be promising.

KEYWORDS:

Depression; age-appropriate diagnostic assessment; elderly; meaning

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Taylor & Francis
Loading ...
Support Center