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Social activity and participation as determinants of anxiety and depression among elderly in primary care


Aim of this study was to investigate anxiety disorders and depression among members of one Open Care Centre for the Elderly (KAPI) in Crete-Greece, in correlation with their activity and participation levels.

Materials and methods

A cross-sectional study was designed and 132 aged (≥65) participated. All participants were members of the KAPI from a rural district in Crete, Greece. Data were collected with face-to-face interviews. Social activity and levels of participation in KAPI were examined. The Short Anxiety Screening Test (SAST) and the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS-15) was used to assess anxiety disorders and depression respectively. Univariate and multivariate regression models used to determine the factors which correlate with these disorders.


132 aged (mean age 75.7 years) participated. 18,2% had minor depression (GDS ≥ 7) and 8,3% moderate to severe depression (GDS ≥ 11), while 17,4% (6,8% men vs 26,4% women) had an anxiety disorder according to SAST (≥24). According to univariate regression models, increasing age, female gender and the absence or minor participation in KAPI were associated with higher risk of depression; low levels of participation in KAPI and female gender were associated with higher risk of anxiety.


Our findings document the association of higher prevalence of anxiety and depression in elderly with limited social activity in primary care centres, and especially affect more women and aged in widowhood. These determinants of isolation should be factors of mental health prevention management in primary care.


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Correspondence to Ilias Grammatikopoulos.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Grammatikopoulos, I., Koutentakis, C. Social activity and participation as determinants of anxiety and depression among elderly in primary care. Ann Gen Psychiatry 9, S137 (2010).

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  • Primary Care
  • Anxiety Disorder
  • Social Activity
  • Multivariate Regression
  • Female Gender