Depression and Increased Health Services Utilization Among Elderly Primary Care Patients
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The increase in life expectancy in the 21st century has resulted in a major growth in the prevalence of age-related diseases and conditions. Depression has been found to be the most prevalent among the various mental disorders in later life. It was emphasized that depression in the elderly is a persistent or recurrent disorder resulting from psychosocial stress or physiologic effects of disease and can lead to disability, cognitive impairments, intensified symptoms of other medical conditions and increased utilization of health care services. Due to the rapidly aging population, depression is a serious public health concern that has a great impact on quality of life and may lay a considerable burden on the health care systems. However depression among the elderly may prove to be hard to diagnose since in aged persons depressive symptoms are often masked by somatic complaints or by cognitive impairments. Consequently depression is often under diagnosed and the patients continue to visit constantly the nurse or the physician without getting an adequate answer to their problem. For that reason over utilization of health care services may be an indicator to the presence of undiagnosed depression. The purpose of this study is to examine the relationships between socio-demographic variables, high primary care utilization and depressive symptomatology among aged patients.
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Ages Eligible for Study:
65 Years and older (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:
Age 65 or older,
Clalit health organization client
Hebrew or English or Russian speaker
Living in Beer Sheva
Known diagnosis of depression, major depression, bipolar disorder, psychosis, dementia or substance abuse