Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria
versão impressa ISSN 1516-4446
PLATI, Mara Cristina F; COVRE, Priscila; LUKASOVA, Katerina e MACEDO, Elizeu Coutinho de. Depressive symptoms and cognitive performance of the elderly: relationship between institutionalization and activity programs. Rev. Bras. Psiquiatr. [online]. 2006, vol.28, n.2, pp. 118-121. ISSN 1516-4446. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1516-44462006000200008.
OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to assess the frequency of depressive symptoms and to evaluate cognitive performance of institutionalized versus non-institutionalized elderly subjects and to compare the effect of institutionalization and participation in the institution's activity programs on their cognitive performance. METHOD: A group of 120 elderly subjects with a mean age of 71 years and average schooling of 4.2 years was evaluated. The participants were divided into 3 groups: non-institutionalized (n = 37); institutionalized with activities (n = 37); institutionalized without activities (n = 46). The groups were matched for age, gender and educational level. The following assessment instruments were used: the Geriatric Depression Scale, the Mini-Mental State Examination, the Verbal Fluency Test and the computerized versions of the Hooper Visual Organization Test and the Boston Naming Test. The data were analyzed using one-way ANOVA and the Pearson's correlation test. RESULTS: The two groups of institutionalized elderly showed higher frequency of depressive symptoms when compared to non-institutionalized subjects and worse performance on the Verbal Fluency Test. The institutionalized group without activities had lower scores on Mental State Examination, Boston Naming Test and Hooper Visual Organization Test when compared to the other two groups (p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: Institutionalization of the elderly seems to be related to worse cognitive performance. Activity programs during institutionalization may be effective in minimizing cognitive functional loss.
Palavras-chave : Old age assistance; Adjustment disorders; Homes for the aged; Cognition; Depression.