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    Prevalence of depression and anxiety symptoms in elderly patients admitted in post-acute intermediate care

    Yohannes, Abebaw M., Baldwin, Robert C. and Connolly, Martin J. (2008) Prevalence of depression and anxiety symptoms in elderly patients admitted in post-acute intermediate care. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 23 (11). pp. 1141-1147. ISSN 0885-6230

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    OBJECTIVES: Depression and anxiety symptoms are common in medically ill older patients. We investigated the prevalence and predictors of depression and anxiety symptoms in older patients admitted for further rehabilitation in post acute intermediate care. DESIGN: Observational cohort study. SETTING: An intermediate care unit, North West of England. PARTICIPANTS: One hundred and seventy-three older patients (60 male), aged mean (SD) 80 (8.1) years, referred for further rehabilitation to intermediate care. MEASUREMENTS: Depression and anxiety symptoms were assessed by the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale, and severity of depression examined by the Montgomery Asberg Depression Rating Scale. Physical disability was assessed by the Nottingham Extended ADL Scale and quality of life by the SF-36. RESULTS: Sixty-five patients (38%) were identified with depressive symptoms, 29 (17%) with clinical depression, 73 (43%) with anxiety symptoms, and 43 (25%) with clinical anxiety. 15 (35%) of the latter did not have elevated depression scores (9% of the sample). Of those with clinical depression, 14 (48%) were mildly depressed and 15 (52%) moderately depressed. Longer stay in the unit was predicted by severity of depression, physical disability, low cognition and living alone (total adjusted R(2) = 0.24). CONCLUSIONS: Clinical depression and anxiety are common in older patients admitted in intermediate care. Anxiety is often but not invariably secondary to depression and both should be screened for. Depression is an important modifiable factor affecting length of stay. The benefits of structured management programmes for anxiety and depression in patients admitted in intermediate care are worthy of evaluation. Copyright (c) 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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