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Revista Brasileira de Geriatria e Gerontologia

Print version ISSN 1809-9823On-line version ISSN 1981-2256

Abstract

ABRANTES, Gesualdo Gonçalves de et al. Depressive symptoms in older adults in basic health care. Rev. bras. geriatr. gerontol. [online]. 2019, vol.22, n.4, e190023.  Epub Nov 25, 2019. ISSN 1981-2256.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/1981-22562019022.190023.

Objective:

To identify depressive symptoms in older adults treated in primary care.

Method:

A descriptive-exploratory cross-sectional quantitative study was conducted with 260 older adults registered with Family Health Units in João Pessoa, Paraíba, Brazil. A sociodemographic instrument and the Geriatric Abridged Depression Scale (GDS-15) were applied. Descriptive analysis summarized the variables through percentages and number of participants.

Results:

There was a prevalence of older adults aged 60-70 years (n=154; 59.2%), who were female (n=186; 71.5%) and had a low educational level (n=89; 34.2%). The GDS-15 revealed that 195 (75.0%) of the older adults had no depressive symptoms. It was observed that 219 (84.2%) older adults were satisfied with their lives, 198 (76.1%) felt happy most of the time, 194 (74.6%) were in a good mood most of the time, 236 (90.8%) reported feeling hope in their lives and 248 (95.4%) mentioned feeling that it was wonderful to be alive. In addition, 135 (51.9%) older adults preferred to go out rather than stay at home, 180 (69.2%) felt full of energy, and 226 (86.9%) considered themselves useful people, although 112 older adults (43.0%) had interrupted many of their activities and 141 (54.2%) feared that something bad would happen.

Conclusion:

Primary Health Care is responsible for the screening of depressive symptoms in older adults to implement actions to protect and promote the health of this population. It is a guiding strategy of the care process, aimed at stimulating active aging and autonomy, as well as the prevention of health problems. This study contributes to reflections on the importance of public policies and good practices in the care of older adults.

Keywords : Geriatric Psychiatry; Public Health; Primary Health Care; Mental Health; Depression.

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