Cross-cultural comparison of depressive symptoms in Europe does not support stereotypes of ageing.
Background Stereotypes of older people suggest that they are depressed.
Aims To examine depressionsymptoms amongpeople aged >= 65 inthegeneral population andtoask the following questions.
Are there high proportions ofdepressive symptoms among otherwise well people ?
Do these levels reflect the prevalence of depression ?
Do key symptoms vary with age and do they confirm stereotypes ?
Method Nine centres contributed data from community-based random samples, using standardised methods (GMS-AGECAT package).
Results Proportions of depressive symptoms varied between centres.
Some often associated with ageing were rare.
Many were more common in women.
Low-prevalence centres tended to have fewer symptoms among well'people, but there were inconsistencies.
Low levels of symptoms among the well population of a centre did not necessarily predict lower levels in the depressed.
Conclusions Variations in the prevalence ofdepressive symptoms occurred between centres, not always related to levels of illness.
There was no consistent relationship between proportions of symptoms in well persons and cases for all centres.
Few symptoms were present in>60% of the older population - stereotypes ofold age were not upheld.
Declaration of interest The European Commission BIOMED I initiative funded this Concerted Action Programme.
Mots-clés Pascal : Etat dépressif, Personne âgée, Homme, Symptomatologie, Etude comparative, Europe, Prévalence, Epidémiologie, Santé mentale, Trouble humeur
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Depression, Elderly, Human, Symptomatology, Comparative study, Europe, Prevalence, Epidemiology, Mental health, Mood disorder
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 99-0229740
Code Inist : 002B18E. Création : 16/11/1999.