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Exploring the relationship between physical health, depressive symptoms, and depression diagnoses in Hispanic dementia caregivers.

Cucciare MA, Gray H, Azar A, Jimenez D, Gallagher-Thompson D. Exploring the relationship between physical health, depressive symptoms, and depression diagnoses in Hispanic dementia caregivers. Aging & mental health. 2010 Apr 1; 14(3):274-82.

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OBJECTIVES: The present study examined the relationship between self-reported physical health, depressive symptoms, and the occurrence of depression diagnosis in Hispanic female dementia caregivers. PARTICIPANTS: Participants were 89 Hispanic female dementia caregivers. DESIGN: This study used a cross-sectional design. Baseline depression and physical health data were collected from participants enrolled in the 'Reducing Stress in Hispanic Anglo Dementia Caregivers' study sponsored by the National Institute on Aging. MEASUREMENTS: Physical health was assessed using the Medical Outcome Study Short Form-36 (SF-36), a one-item self-report health rating, body mass index, and the presence or history of self-reported physical illness. Depressive symptoms were assessed using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies-Depression Scale (CES-D). The occurrence of depression diagnosis was assessed using the Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders (SCID). ANALYSIS: Multiple linear and logistic regression analysis was used to examine the extent to which indices of physical health and depressive symptoms accounted for variance in participants' depressive symptoms and depressive diagnoses. RESULTS: Self-reported indices of health (e.g., SF-36) accounted for a significant portion of variance in both CES-D scores and SCID diagnoses. Caregivers who reported worsened health tended to report increased symptoms of depression on the CES-D and increased likelihood of an SCID diagnosis of a depressive disorder. CONCLUSION: Self-reported health indices are helpful in identifying Hispanic dementia caregivers at risk for clinical levels of depression.

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