Aim: We examined the prevalence of depression and identified the factors associated with depression among community-dwelling Japanese frail elderly eligible for long-term care insurance. Methods: A cross-sectional study of the baseline data of 1,409 elderly from the Nagoya Longitudinal Study for Frail Elderly was conducted. The data, which were collected at the patients' homes or from care-managing center records, included the clients' demographic characteristics, care levels, depression as assessed by the short version of the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS-15), a rating for basic activities of daily living (ADL), prescribing medications, and physician-diagnosed chronic diseases. The participants were considered to be in depression or severe depression if their GDS-15 score was 6≦ or 10≦a, respectively. Results: Although 57.2% or 23.1% of the participants had a GDS-15 score of 6 or higher, or 10 or higher, only 4.2% of sever depressive participants were taking an antidepressant. The higher prevalence of depression was associated with a higher care level in the long-term care insurance program. The depression was associated with 3 or more eligible care level, poor nutritional status, 3 or more prescribed medications, and nonuse of day-care/service. Conclusion: We observed a high prevalence of depression among community-dwelling Japanese frail elderly eligible for long-term care insurance. However, very few depressed elderly were taking an antidepressant.
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