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Open Access Research article

Late-life depression and quality of life in a geriatric evaluation and management unit: an exploratory study

Jui-Hung Lin12, Min-Wei Huang2, Deng-Wu Wang2, Yi-Ming Chen34, Chu-Sheng Lin35, Yi-Jing Tang35, Shu-Hui Yang36 and Hsien-Yuan Lane17*

Author Affiliations

1 China Medical University, Graduate Institute of Clinical Medical Science, No. 91 Hsueh-Shih Road, Taichung, Taiwan

2 Division of Psychiatry, Chia Yi branch, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, No. 600, Sec. 2, Shixian Road, Chiayi City, West District, Taiwan

3 Center for Geriatrics and Gerontology, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, No. 160, Section 3, Taichung-Kang Road, Taichung 40705, Taiwan

4 Division of Allergy, Immunology and Rheumatology, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, No. 160, Section 3, Taichung-Kang Road, Taichung 40705, Taiwan

5 Department of Family Medicine, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, No. 160, Section 3, Taichung-Kang Road, Taichung 40705, Taiwan

6 Department of Nursing, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, No. 160, Section 3, Taichung-Kang Road, Taichung 40705, Taiwan

7 Department of Psychiatry, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung, Taiwan

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BMC Geriatrics 2014, 14:77  doi:10.1186/1471-2318-14-77

Published: 18 June 2014

Abstract

Background

Late-life depression is common among elderly patients. Ignorance of the health problem, either because of under-diagnosis or under-treatment, causes additional medical cost and comorbidity. For a better health and quality of life (QoL), evaluation, prevention and treatment of late-life depression in elderly patients is essential.

Methods

This study examined (1) the differences of clinical characteristics, degree of improvement on QoL and functionality on discharge between non-depressed and depressed elderly inpatients and (2) factors associated with QoL on discharge. Four hundred and seventy-one elderly inpatients admitted to a geriatric evaluation and management unit (GEMU) from 2009 to 2010 were enrolled in this study. Comprehensive geriatric assessment including the activities of daily living (ADL), geriatric depression scale, and mini-mental state examination were conducted. QoL was assessed using the European Quality of Life-5 Dimensions and the European Quality of Life-5 Dimensions Visual Analog Scale on discharge. Information on hospital stay and Charlson comorbidity index were obtained by chart review. Chi-square tests, independent t-tests, Mann–Whitney U tests and multiple linear regressions were used in statistical analysis.

Results

Worse QoL and ADL on discharge were found among the depressed. Depressive symptoms, female gender, duration of hospital stay, and rehabilitation were significant factors affecting QoL on discharge in linear regression models.

Conclusions

The importance of the diagnosis and treatment of depression among elderly inpatients should not be overlooked during hospital stay and after discharge. Greater efforts should be made to improve intervention with depressed elderly inpatients.

Keywords:
Elderly; Late-life depression; Geriatric depression; Quality of life; EQ-5D; Geriatric evaluation and management unit; GEMU; ADL; GDS