Online Program

Six-Month Depression Trajectories in Community-Dwelling Older Adults in Florida

Monday, November 2, 2015

Sarah Fishleder, M.A., M.P.H., C.P.H., Health Promotion Research Center, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Amber Gum, PhD, Department of Mental Health Law & Policy, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Bellinda King-Kallimanis, PhD, Pharmerit, Boston, MA
Lawrence Schonfeld, PhD, Department of Mental Health Law & Policy, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Objectives: This research aimed to: 1) describe trajectories of older adults’ depressive symptoms over a six-month period; and 2) examine baseline predictors of trajectories. Innovations include monthly assessments, examination of non-linear trajectories, and inclusion of coping styles as predictors.

Method: Data were derived from a six-month longitudinal study of 144 community-dwelling older adults with depressive symptoms (Short-Geriatric Depression Scale [S-GDS] ≥ 5) with seven waves of data. Descriptive analyses and individual growth curve modeling were conducted.

Results: Regarding Aim 1, the majority of participants changed symptom levels over time; most participants with severe symptoms at baseline remained at least mildly depressed at six months. Regarding Aim 2, younger participants were more depressed at baseline and improved slightly more than older participants. Those who used more active and emotional support coping had faster improvement and maintained gains, whereas those who used less of these coping styles demonstrated worse symptoms and more fluctuations over time.

Discussion: It may be beneficial to target interventions to older adults with more severe depressive symptoms and who display low levels of active and emotional support coping. Behavioral interventions that improve these coping styles may help depressed older adults recover and maintain treatment gains over time.

Learning Areas:

Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe depression trajectories of community-dwelling older adults Examine baseline predictors of trajectories

Keyword(s): Aging, Depression

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked for three years on grants focused on healthy aging. My research throughout my graduate education, including my dissertation is focused on healthy aging. I have had experience presenting research at professional conferences
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.