Analysis of depressive symptoms and cognitive impairment in residents using the interRAI-LTCF in a long-term care facility in the Cape metropole in South Africa
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Worldwide concerns have been raised about the presence and association of depressive symptoms, cognitive impairment, and dementia in older adults (60 years and older), which are often unrecognised and untreated in long-term care facilities (LTCF’s). The progression of cognitive impairment to dementia reduces quality of life with negative consequences of physical, mental, and psychosocial health. In many LTCF’s internationally, the standardised interRAI system is used to capture depressive symptoms and cognitive impairment. However, there is a fragmentation of systems for making evidence-based decisions to plan and manage care for residents with depressive symptoms, cognitive impairment, and dementia. This study, being the first of its kind in South Africa, addressed this gap, by describing a profile of depressive symptoms and cognitive impairment in residents, and analysing their coexistence, using the interRAI-LTCF in a LTCF in the Cape Metropole in South Africa. A quantitative, descriptive, and analytical cross-sectional secondary data analysis was conducted using the records of all 173 resident’s medical records of residents with a last interRAI-LTCF assessment from 2014 and 2016. The objectives were to determine the levels of depressive symptoms and cognitive impairment, and to assess variously associated demographics and clinical variables between depressive symptoms and cognitive impairment of the interRAI-LTCF in residents in a LTCF. Secondary data were analysed, using the IBM Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software, version 25, to test any statistically significant relationship between the extracted variables (Significance was set as p˂0.05). The prevalence of possible depression, using the Depression Rating Scale (DRS) of the interRAI-LTCF in the residents in this study was 36.4%, of whom 54.3% had a documented clinical diagnosis of depression. The prevalence of cognitive impairment was 39.3%, using the Cognitive Performance Scale (CPS), of whom 34.1% had a documented clinical diagnosis of cognitive impairment/dementia. There were more females than males with the possibility for depression and cognitive impairment, especially in those who were older than 80 years of age, those without partners, and who had ≤12 years of education. The DRS and the CPS were able to predict the possibility for depression and CI. There is a 55.9% risk of possible depression with CI present as compared to a 23.8% risk of possible depression when CI is not present. That means that people meeting criteria for CI on the CPS are 2.3 times more likely to meet the criteria for possible depression on the DRS. Similarly, there is a 60.3% risk of CI with possible depression present as compared to a 27.3% risk of CI when possible depression is not present. That means that people meeting criteria for possible depression on the DRS are 2.2 times more likely to meet the criteria for CI on the CPS. The logistic regression confirmed the coexistence between depressive symptoms and cognitive impairment.