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Revista de Saúde Pública

versão impressa ISSN 0034-8910

Resumo

NOGUEIRA, Eduardo Lopes et al. Screening for depressive symptoms in older adults in the Family Health Strategy, Porto Alegre, Brazil. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2014, vol.48, n.3, pp.368-377. ISSN 0034-8910.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-8910.2014048004660.

OBJECTIVE

To analyze the prevalence of depression in older adults and associated factors.

METHODS

Cross-sectional study using a stratified random sample of 621 individuals aged ≥ 60 from 27 family health teams in Porto Alegre, RS, Southern Brazil, between 2010 and 2012. Community health agents measured depression using the 15-item Geriatric Depression Scale. Scores of ≥ 6 were considered as depression and between 11 and 15 as severe depression. Poisson regression was used to search for independent associations of sociodemographic and self-perceived health with both depression and its severity.

RESULTS

The prevalence of depression was 30.6% and was significantly higher in women (35.9% women versus 20.9% men, p < 0.001). The variables independently associated with depression were: female gender (PR = 1.4, 95%CI 1.1;1.8); low education, especially illiteracy (PR = 1.8, 95%CI 1.2;2 6); regular self-rated health (OR = 2.2, 95%CI 1.6;3.0); and poor/very poor self-rated health (PR = 4.0, 95%CI 2.9;5.5). Except for education, the strength of association of these factors increases significantly in severe depression.

CONCLUSIONS

A high prevalence of depression was observed in the evaluations conducted by community health agents, professionals who are not highly specialized. The findings identified using the 15-item Geriatric Depression Scale in this way are similar to those in the literature, with depression more associated with low education, female gender and worse self-rated health. From a primary health care strategic point of view, the findings become still more relevant, indicating that community health agents could play an important role in identifying depression in older adults.

Palavras-chave : Aged; Depression, epidemiology; Family Health Strategy; Mental Health Services, Manpower; Cross-Sectional Studies.

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