Is the naturalistic course of depression in older people related to received support over time? Results from a longitudinal population-based study

Wim Houtjes*, Dorly Deeg, Peter M. van de Ven, Berno van Meijel, Theo van Tilburg, Aartjan Beekman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Objectives: To test the interrelation of the naturalistic course of depression in older people with long-term support received. Design: Longitudinal cohort study. Methods: A sample of 277 adults age 55–85 years participating in the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam, with clinically relevant depressive symptoms at baseline (scores ≥16 on the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale) were followed up over a period of 13 years. General estimating equations were used to examine the relation between depression course and emotional/instrumental support received over time. In addition, partner status, gender, and age were tested as modifiers. Results: A 2-way interaction between depression courses types and time showed significant differences in instrumental support received over time in older people with a late-life depression. Three-way interactions showed that associations between depression course and support variables were modified by gender and partner status. Conclusion: Both men and singles, with a chronic course of depression may be at risk to lose emotional and instrumental support over time. Professional attention is needed to prevent a chronic course of late-life depression, and to preserve personal social networks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)657-663
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017

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