The relationship between clinically relevant depressive symptoms and episodes and duration of all cause hospitalization in Southern Chinese elderly

Wong, S.Y., Mercer, S.W. , Leung, J. and Woo, J. (2009) The relationship between clinically relevant depressive symptoms and episodes and duration of all cause hospitalization in Southern Chinese elderly. Journal of Affective Disorders, 113(3), pp. 272-278. (doi:10.1016/j.jad.2008.06.008)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2008.06.008

Abstract

<b>Background</b> Identification of depression as an independent factor for increased hospital service utilization, or as part of other factors, is important for primary healthcare in possibly preventing use of hospitals. The objective of this study was to study the effects of having clinically relevant depressive symptoms in community dwelling elderly on all cause hospitalization in the elderly.<p></p> <b>Methods</b> We administered the validated Chinese version of Geriatric Depression Scale on 3770 men and women aged 65years and over. Duration and episodes of hospitalization were assessed using 4-monthly telephone interviews and database from the Hospital Authority over a 4-year period. The associations between the presence of clinically relevant depressive symptoms and the number of hospitalizations and duration of hospitalization were studied by multiple Poisson regression analysis.<p></p> <b>Results</b> The presence of clinically relevant depressive symptoms was independently associated with increased episodes (RR: 1.29; CI: 1.16–1.43) and increased length of stay (RR: 1.18; CI: 1.10–1.25) for all cause hospitalization in those with and without chronic conditions at baseline.<p></p> <b>Limitation</b> Our study relied on self report of chronic medical conditions. As a result, under-diagnosis of diseases and misclassification of disease status could not be excluded.<p></p> <b>Conclusion</b> It was shown that clinically relevant depressive symptoms are independently associated with inpatient utilization over a 4-year period after adjustment for socioeconomic and health status in these elderly subjects. Identification and effective management of depression in primary care may be one way to reduce hospital service utilization in the elderly in China.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Mercer, Professor Stewart
Authors: Wong, S.Y., Mercer, S.W., Leung, J., and Woo, J.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > General Practice and Primary Care
Journal Name:Journal of Affective Disorders
Publisher:Elsevier BV
ISSN:0165-0327
ISSN (Online):1573-2517
Published Online:18 July 2008

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