Hearing and Visual Impairments as Risk Factors for Late-Life Depression

Krsteska, Roza (2012) Hearing and Visual Impairments as Risk Factors for Late-Life Depression. Journal of Special Education and Rehabilitation, 13 (1-2). pp. 46-59. ISSN 1409-6099

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Official URL: http://doi.org/10.2478/v10215-011-0018-2


Introduction: Late-life depression is one of the most frequent disorders among the seniors and often remains unrecognized. One of the reasons why late-life depression often passes unrecognized is the comorbidity. Hearing and visual impairments are very common condition among the elderly. Thus, depression among the elderly is commonly accompanied by hearing and visual impairment. The epidemiology together with the visual and hearing-related problems still remains poorly investigated. Objective: The aim of the study was to evaluate the relationship between hearing and visual function and the late-life depression. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study with a random sample of 120 participants, 60 patients with late-life depression and 60 community-dwelling older adults aged over 60 and without the symptoms of depression. All participants were examined using a questionnaire designed for the aim of the study to measure the severity of the symptoms (scale with scores from 1 to 3 - from mild to profound degree) of self-reported hearing and visual impairment. In addition, existing medical records and the Geriatric Depression Scale were used as well. Results: The patients with late-life depression in larger number suffered from hearing and visual impairment compared to the non - depressed elderly people: hearing impairments (χ2=6.97, df=1, p=0.0083) and visual impairments (χ2=4.37, df=2, p=0.012). Conclusion: These data suggest that the risk of late-life depression is higher among elderly patients with hearing and visual impairment. A comprehensive annual eye exam is the most important step that can be undertaken to help monitor and protect normal visual function in the elderly. It is necessary to conduct routine screening and early treatment of depression in elderly patients with hearing and visual impairment within the primary care practice. Ophthalmologists and otologists should be aware of the need for routine screening for geriatric syndromes in the eye and otology clinics.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: L Education > LC Special aspects of education
Depositing User: Prof. Dr. Vladimir Trajkovski
Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2015 22:34
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2015 22:34
URI: http://eprints.jser.fon.edu.mk/id/eprint/67

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