Late-Life Depression: Portuguese Research Trends over the last Decade (2007-2017)

Gabija Kisieliūtė, Oscar Ribeiro, Constança Paúl


Background: Depression is the second major mental health concern in older people and it is generally accepted that it highly contributes to diminished wellbeing and worse general health. Population aging has raised the need to enlarge depression research in older adults so that it may be properly prevented, diagnosed and treated. In Portugal, the extent of research conducted on geriatric depression is unknown.

Goals: This study aims to explore the scope of depression research with elderly population in Portugal, and to provide insights on the prevailing research topics that have been considered, highlighting possible trends and research gaps.

Methods: A scope review was conducted. Research papers having “older people” (or similar words) AND “Portugal” AND “Depression” in their title, abstract or keywords were screened across main international scientific databases (SCOPUS, Web of Science, PsycINFO and PUBMED) for a ten-year period [2007-2017].

Results: A total of 50 papers were selected and analysed. Six main categories were distinguished: depression, health status and social conditions; late life depression and its characteristics; assessment of late life depression; intervention outputs; attitudes towards depression and help seeking behaviors; and sociodemographic characteristics of people with depression.

Discussion: The considerable expressiveness of geriatric depression in our country and the lack of attention it is given as a primary research topic (rather than as an associated variable to other conditions) suggest the need for a greater investment by Portuguese researchers in order to improve accurate diagnosis and adequate psychological interventions.

Keywords: Depression; Systematic review; Geriatric; Older adults; Portugal.


Depression; Systematic review; Geriatric; Older adults; Portugal

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