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Depression and alcohol use among the Dutch residential home elderly: Is there a shared vulnerability?

By B. Steunenberg, S. Yagmur and P. Cuijpers


The purpose of this article is to investigate whether data from an older population sample would support the co-occurrence between depression and (problematic) alcohol use found in the general population and in clinical samples. Additionally, important predictors concerning these phenomena are identified in this population, by interviewing 156 inhabitants of five residential homes (mean age 84 years), using several questionnaires. The results showed that there is no link present between depression and alcohol use in this very old, mostly female population. Our results found a relation between the personality traits extraversion and openness to experience with both depression as well as alcohol use. Neuroticism was only related to depressive symptoms. Chronic diseases was related to non-alcohol use and parental problem drinking was found to be a risk factor for late life problem drinking. Future studies should aim at developing screening instruments for alcohol use in this population and, because of the importance of the personality traits, aim at developing or adapting of psychotherapeutic interventions fit for this population. Keywords: Depression, alcohol use, older adults, residential homes, personalit

Year: 2008
DOI identifier: 10.1080/16066350802041356
OAI identifier:
Provided by: DSpace at VU

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