Vol. 5 nº 2 - Apr/May/Jun de 2011
Original Article Páginas: 85 a 92

Depressive symptoms in elderly participants of an open university for elderly

Authors Samila Sathler Tavares Batistoni1; Tiago Nascimento Ordonez2; Thaís Bento Lima da Silva3; Priscila Pascarelli Pedrico do Nascimento4; Priscilla Tiemi Kissaki4; Meire Cachioni1


keywords: aging, depression, university of the third age.

Although the prevalence of depressive disorders among the elderly is lower than among the younger population, the presence of significant symptoms of depression is common in this group. Studies report that participation in social, educational and leisure activities is related to fewer depressive symptoms in this population. Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the prevalence of depression among elderly participants of an Open University for the Third Age, in terms of the time studying. Methods: The study had a cross-sectional design and the participation of 95.2% (n=184) of total enrollers in the first half of 2010 on the activities of the Third Age Open University's School of Arts, Sciences and Humanities of the University of São Paulo. All participants answered a socio-demographic questionnaire and the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS-15). Results: An association between studying time of over one semester at the University of the Third Age and a lower rate of depressive symptoms, was observed. Conclusion: Study time of over one semester was associated with less depressive symptoms, acting as a possible protective factor against depression.


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