Gender-related phenomenological and neuropsychological differences in elderly patients with depression


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Abstract

AimThe objectives of this work were to detect phenomenological sex-specific differences in elderly patients with depression for better understanding and to illustrate neuropsychological sex-specific differences in elderly patients with depression for better management.SubjectsA comparative study with consecutive samples. Two groups were compared in the study comprising 40 elderly patients of both sexes with depression: 20 depressed men and 20 depressed women aged 60 years or above. They were recruited from the psychiatry outpatient clinic of Kasr Al Aini hospital with no obvious cognitive impairment or substance-related psychiatric disorders.MethodsDiagnostic criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition, Symptom Checklist-90, mini-mental state examination (MMSE), Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale, and State–Trait Anxiety Inventory were used.ResultsA comparison between the depressed male and female subgroups revealed that the characteristics of the patients were similar in both sexes except for some significant findings; for example, depression in elderly women is more associated with widowhood, more suffering from a sense of worthlessness, lack of attention, and more disturbance in reasoning and constructional abilities. However, elderly men reported more sexual dysfunction and a significant negative correlation between memory impairment (MMSE) and severity of depression (GDS).ConclusionThere were no sex-specific differences in elderly depressed patients except that depression in elderly women was more associated with widowhood, a sense of worthlessness, lack of attention, and more disturbance in reasoning and constructional abilities, whereas elderly men reported more sexual dysfunction and a significant negative correlation between memory impairment (MMSE) and severity of depression (GDS).

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