Older patients' depressive symptoms 6 months after prolonged hospitalization: Course and interrelationships with major associated factors

Chun Min Chen, Guan-Hua Huang, Cheryl Chia Hui Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

The aim of this study was to examine the course of depressive symptoms in older patients 6 months following a prolonged, acute hospitalization, especially the interrelationships among depressive symptoms and its major associated factors. For this study, we conducted a secondary analysis of data from a prospective cohort study of 351 patients aged 65 years and older. Participants were recruited from five surgical and medical wards at a tertiary medical center in northern Taiwan and assessed at three time points: within 48. h of admission, before discharge, and 6 months post-discharge. The course of depressive symptoms was dynamic with symptoms increased spontaneously and substantially during hospitalization and subsided at 6 months after discharge, but still remained higher than at admission. Overall, 26.7% of older patients at hospital discharge met established criteria for minor depression (15-item Geriatric Depressive Scale (GDS-15) scores 5-9) and 21.2% for major depression (GDS-15 scores >10). As the strongest associated factors, functional dependence and nutritional status influenced depressive symptoms following hospitalization. Depressive symptoms at discharge showed significant cross-lagged effects on functional dependence and nutritional status at 6 months after discharge, suggesting a reciprocal, triadic relationship. Thus, treating one condition might improve the other. Targeting the triad of depressive symptoms, functional dependence, and nutritional status, therefore, is essential for treating depressive symptoms and improving the overall health of older adults hospitalized for acute illness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-343
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Gerontology and Geriatrics
Volume58
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 May 2014

Keywords

  • Depressive symptoms
  • Functional status
  • Geriatric syndrome
  • Nutritional status
  • Older adults

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