• elderly;
  • depression;
  • hospitalized;
  • follow-up;
  • disability;
  • anxiety;
  • activities of daily living


The present follow-up study of older medically hospitalized patients from a rural area in Norway assessed the prevalence of depressive symptoms at 1-year follow-up and furthermore explored whether depressive symptoms at follow-up was associated with change in the medical, functional or emotional situation between baseline and follow-up.


A 1-year follow-up study included 363 (175 men) older medical inpatients with age range 65–98 (mean = 80.2; standard deviation (SD) = 7.5) years. Information was collected at baseline and follow-up using the Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale (HAD), the Mini-Mental State Examination, Lawton and Brody's scales for physical self-maintenance and performance of the instrumental activities of daily living.


The prevalence of depressive symptoms, as defined by a score ≥ 8 at HAD-D, was 10% at baseline and 7% at follow-up. Of those with depressive symptoms at baseline, 78% had experienced remission. The incidence of depressive symptoms at follow-up was 5%. In logistic regression analyses adjusted for age, gender, and depressive symptoms at baseline, becoming or being in need of assistance from nursing or social services (odds ratio (OR) = 8.1, 95% CI: 1.9–34.2 and OR = 4.4, 95% CI: 1.1–17.4, respectively), having a cognitive decline (OR = 1.1, 95% CI: 1.0–1.3), and exhibiting poorer physical self-maintenance (OR = 1.2, 95% CI: 1.0–1.3), becoming vision impaired (OR = 8.3, 95% CI: 2.8–25.0), and with increased anxiety (OR = 1.2, 95% CI: 1.0–1.3) during follow-up was associated with depressive symptoms at follow-up.


The 1-year follow-up study of older medical inpatients contributes to the research body regarding risk factors of depression in older people. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.