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Suicidal Ideation, Depression and Quality of Life in the Elderly: Study in a Gerontopsychiatric Consultation

  • Carla Ponte (a1), Vera Almeida (a1) and Lia Fernandes (a2)
Abstract

The global increase in elderly population all over the world, especially in Portugal, justifies the importance of mental health study in this age group. The aim of this study was to characterize the elderly patients in Gerontopsychiatry Consultation of Centro Hospitalar São João in Porto, related to socio-demographic aspects, physical and global disabilities, depression, suicidal ideation and quality of life, and to explore the association between suicidal ideation, depression, and quality of life and global and functional disability. In this cross-sectional study, 155 patients were recruited consecutively, with a final sample of 75 subjects (59 women and 16 men) without cognitive deficits and a mean age of 72.8 (SD = 6.04). Concerning the depression level measured with the Geriatric Depression Scale (Barreto et al., 2008) it was found that 66.7% presented severe depression and suicidal ideation (M = 41.96, SD = 36.38), a value considered with a potential risk of suicide using the Suicidal Ideation Questionnaire (Ferreira & Castela, 1999). The elderly also perceived their quality of life as low, revealing global disability assessed with the EasyCare- Elderly Assessment (Sousa & Figueiredo, 2000a). A significant positive correlation was also found between depression and suicidal ideation (rs =.71, p < .001), as well as quality of life (rs = .50, p < .001), and suicidal ideation with quality of life (rs = .40, p < .001). The data obtained in this study corroborate the results found in other studies.

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Corresponding author
*Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Vera Almeida. Instituto Superior de Ciências da Saúde-Norte (Portugal). E-mail: vera.marg@gmail.com
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