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Depressive symptomatology in severe dementia in a European sample: prevalence, associated factors and prescription rate of antidepressants.

  • Clarissa M Giebel
  • Caroline Sutcliffe
  • Anna Renom-Guiteras
  • Seija Arve
  • Ingalill Rahm Hallberg
  • Maria Soto
  • Adelaida Zabalegui
  • Jan Hamers
  • Kai Saks
  • David Challis
Publishing year: 2015
Language: English
Pages: 657-667
Publication/Series: International Psychogeriatrics
Volume: 27
Issue: 4
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Abstract english

ABSTRACT Background: Depression is a common comorbid disorder of dementia. This study explores the prevalence of and factors associated with depressive symptomatology, and antidepressant prescription rates in severe dementia across eight European countries. Methods: In total, 414 people with severe dementia completed measures of cognition and quality of life (QoL), whilst carers completed proxy measures of activities of daily living (ADLs), depression, neuropsychiatric symptoms, QoL and comorbidity. Results: Findings indicated that 30% of the sample had depression, whilst the highest and lowest prevalence of depression was reported in Germany and Finland, respectively. Lower QoL, the presence of pain and more frequent neuropsychiatric symptoms were associated with depressive symptomatology, whilst no significant relationship between impairment of ADLs, comorbidity, and depression emerged. Spain and Estonia had the highest and lowest rates of antidepressant prescribing, respectively, whilst Germany had the highest discrepancy between depressive symptomatology and prescription. Conclusions: The study highlights variations across countries in the prevalence of depressive symptomatology in severe dementia and prescription of antidepressants. Information about factors associated with depressive symptomatology may help to better identify and manage depression.


  • Nursing


  • ISSN: 1741-203X
Ingalill Rahm Hallberg
E-mail: ingalill [dot] rahm_hallberg [at] med [dot] lu [dot] se

Professor emerita

Health-promoting Complex Interventions