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Interaction of depression and bereavement on mental health in the elderly.

Authors
  • Gilewski, M J
  • Farberow, N L
  • Gallagher, D E
  • Thompson, L W
Type
Published Article
Journal
Psychology and aging
Publication Date
Mar 01, 1991
Volume
6
Issue
1
Pages
67–75
Identifiers
PMID: 2029370
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Three hundred ninety-three elderly adults aged 55 and older were divided into 1 of 9 subgroups in a 3 (bereavement group: survivors of spouses who died by natural death or by suicide and nonbereaved control Ss) x 3 (depression group: none, mild, and moderate-severe) design over 4 times of measurement--1 month, 6 months, 1 year, and 2.5 years after death of spouse. Significant Bereavement x Depression Group effects were obtained on Brief Symptom Inventory scores. The moderate-severe depression/suicide subgroup had the greatest psychiatric complications with bereavement. Results indicated that elderly persons with significant clinical depression at the time of a spouse's death were at significant risk for psychological complications during the bereavement process, and survivors of spouses who had committed suicide were even more at risk within the greatest depression group.

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