Care-seeking as a proxy indicator of the mental health of elderly Brazilians
AuthorCastro-de-Araujo, LF; Machado, DB; Barreto, ML
Source TitleRevista Brasileira de Psiquiatria
PublisherASSOC BRASILEIRA PSIQUIATRIA
University of Melbourne Author/sDe Araujo, Luis Fernando Silva Castro
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsCastro-de-Araujo, L. F., Machado, D. B. & Barreto, M. L. (2020). Care-seeking as a proxy indicator of the mental health of elderly Brazilians. BRAZILIAN JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY, 42 (6), pp.591-598. https://doi.org/10.1590/1516-4446-2019-0721.
Access StatusOpen Access
Open Access at PMChttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7678904
OBJECTIVE: To assess a large set of metadata made public by the Brazilian Ministry of Health on older subjects who visited outpatient mental health services in Brazil from 2008 to 2012. METHODS: We extracted data from the Brazilian Unified Health System Information Technology Department (Departamento de Informática do Sistema Único de Saúde, DATASUS), then calculated rates of visits per population in each of the five regions of Brazil, using census data for each year. Finally, logistic regressions were performed with depressive disorders or dementias as dependent variables, controlled by age and year of visit, stratified by region. RESULTS: Mood disorders were the leading reason for visits to outpatient mental health services by older adults, followed by delusional disorders. The calculated rates were lower than the known prevalence of depressive disorders and dementias, but the regressions revealed typical patterns. Males were less likely to present with a depressive disorder, while older subjects were more likely to present with depression and dementia. CONCLUSIONS: Publicly available data from DATASUS may not enable inferences about the prevalence of mental disorders in elders, but inferential analyses match what is known about these conditions. This approach is supplemental to other more common ones and is of special importance for policymakers and health system managers.
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