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Dementia & Neuropsychologia

Print version ISSN 1980-5764


BATISTONI, Samila Sathler Tavares et al. Depressive symptoms in elderly participants of an open university for elderly. Dement. neuropsychol. [online]. 2011, vol.5, n.2, pp.85-92. ISSN 1980-5764.

Although the prevalence of depressive disorders among the elderly is lower than among the younger population, the presence of significant symptoms of depression is common in this group. Studies report that participation in social, educational and leisure activities is related to fewer depressive symptoms in this population.


The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence of depression among elderly participants of an Open University for the Third Age, in terms of the time studying.


The study had a cross-sectional design and the participation of 95.2% (n=184) of total enrollers in the first half of 2010 on the activities of the Third Age Open University's School of Arts, Sciences and Humanities of the University of São Paulo. All participants answered a socio-demographic questionnaire and the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS-15).


An association between studying time of over one semester at the University of the Third Age and a lower rate of depressive symptoms, was observed.


Study time of over one semester was associated with less depressive symptoms, acting as a possible protective factor against depression.

Keywords : aging; depression; university of the third age..

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