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Symptoms of depression and cognitive functioning in older American Indians

TitleSymptoms of depression and cognitive functioning in older American Indians
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsVerney, SP, Jervis, LL, Fickenscher, A, Roubideaux, Y, Bogart, A, Goldberg, J
JournalAging Ment HealthAging Ment Health
Date PublishedJan
ISBN Number1360-7863 (Print)<br/>1360-7863 (Linking)
Accession Number18297485
KeywordsAged, Aged, 80 and Over, Cognition Disorders/ ethnology/psychology, Cognition/physiology, Demography, Depression/ ethnology/ psychology, Female, Humans, Indians, North American/ psychology, Male, Neuropsychology, Psychopathology
AbstractDepression and lower cognitive functioning are common conditions in older populations. While links between psychopathology and neuropsychological performance have been studied in the white majority population, little is known about such links in the American Indian population. American Indians aged 60 and older (n=140) completed structured interviews that included a depression screener and two cognitive screening measures, the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) and the Mattis Dementia Rating Scale (MDRS). Participants had mean values of 26.7/30 on the MMSE and 125.8/144 on the MDRS. The depression screen was not associated with the MMSE or MDRS total scores. However, older American Indians who screened positive for depression scored lower than did those American Indians who screened negatively for depression (27.7 versus 29.8 respectively) on the MDRS conceptualization subscale after adjusting for sociodemographic and health variables. The combined effects of psychopathology and cognitive impairment are likely to adversely impact the health and welfare of American Indians and their families. More research is needed to provide a better understanding of the relationship between psychopathology and cognition that will help inform clinical treatment for psychopathology in older ethnic minorities.
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