ERIC Number: ED244184
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Depression, Health, and Somatic Complaints in Older Adults.
Mahurin, Kathleen A.; Gatz, Margaret
Although depression is considered to be common in the elderly, reliable rates of prevalence are lacking. Studies have shown that age differences on measures of depressive symptomatology can be attributed to higher levels of somatic complaints. In order to examine whether the association between somatic and depressive symptoms varies as a function of health status in an older population, a sample of adults aged 50 to 87 (N=111) were surveyed using a self-report health rating, and the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) to assess psychiatric symptomatology. Factor anaylsis of the BSI yielded high loadings for each of the somatic and depressive symptoms, indicating the independence of the two constructs and providing evidence for the validity of the BSI. Data analysis showed that respondents endorsed more somatic complaints than depressive complaints. Of the eight symptoms endorsed most often, six were somatic items. These findings indicate that rates of prevalence for depression in the elderly may be overestimated when measures of depressive symptomatology that include somatic complaints are used. Descriptive statistics for the BSI comparing an elderly sample with normal young, normal adolescent, and psychiatric outpatient samples, along with data analyses, are appended. (LLL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Brief Symptom Inventory
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (91st, Anaheim, CA, August 26-30, 1983).