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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva
Print version ISSN 1413-8123
OLIVEIRA, Marcos Francisco de et al. The symptomatology of self-referred depression by elderly people who live in a shantytown. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2012, vol.17, n.8, pp. 2191-2198. ISSN 1413-8123. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232012000800029.
The scope of this quantitative exploratory study was to evaluate the symptomatology of self-referred depression by the elderly, taking socio-demographic variables into consideration. The data collected by means of semi-structured interviews and the Abbreviated Geriatric Depression Scale involving 240 elderly residents in João Pessoa in the state of Paraíba between October and December 2010 were analyzed by Excel and SPSS software. It was found that 75.8 % had no degree of symptomatology of depression, and 24.2 % manifested mild or severe depression. According to these variables, in the elderly patients with depression it was found that: in relation to age, the elderly with mild and severe depression appear more frequently between 71 to 76 years - 31%; in relation to gender, females stand out with 86%; on marital state, married couples with 41.3 %, and widowers with 34.5 %; considering family income, from 1 up to 3 minimum wages, 50 %, revealed mild incidence; with respect to schooling, elderly people who have no depression, 84.6 %, can read and write. Therefore, it can be said that the symptomatology of depression in the elderly is related to socio-economic and cultural conditions, emphasizing the need for public health policies that ensure comprehensive care and quality considering these variables.
Keywords : The elderly; Depression; Health; Disease.