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Subtypes of Depression: Latent Class Analysis in Spanish Old People with Depressive Symptoms

Department of Methodology for the Behavioral Sciences, University of Valencia, 46010 Valencia, Spain
Department of Educational and Developmental Psychology, University of Valencia, 46010 Valencia, Spain
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Life 2020, 10(5), 70;
Received: 17 April 2020 / Revised: 11 May 2020 / Accepted: 14 May 2020 / Published: 18 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mental Health Issues and Quality of Life in Older Individuals)
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is one of the most disabling disorders and the one that most contributes to disability. When it occurs in older people, it is an additional burden to their potential physical and cognitive deficiencies, making MDD an important public health problem that supposes a large investment in health. There is a clear lack of consistency between the subtypes of depression found in the literature, ranging from two to seven classes, with three being the most commonly found non-melancholic, melancholic and psychotic, or putative psychotics. The aim of this research is to add knowledge to the profiles of depressive symptoms in a representative sample of older Spanish people, and to study the possible relationship of these symptom profiles with variables that have traditionally been related to depression. Spanish data from the sixth wave of SHARE were used, with 612 Spanish older adults living in Spain. A routine of several LCAs with a different number of classes was performed to answer this first aim to classify Spanish adults with depression symptoms. The results pointed out the presence of three different classes among the participants in the study: psychosomatic (11.12%), melancholic (14.21%), and anhedonic (74.67%). This work represents a step forward to understand the heterogeneity of major depressive disorder, facilitating the diagnosis, and subsequent treatment of older adults. View Full-Text
Keywords: major depressive disorder; elderly; quality of life major depressive disorder; elderly; quality of life
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Pérez-Belmonte, S.; Galiana, L.; Sancho, P.; Oliver, A.; Tomás, J.M. Subtypes of Depression: Latent Class Analysis in Spanish Old People with Depressive Symptoms. Life 2020, 10, 70.

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