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Journal article Full text available online for free

Physical exercise for late-life major depression

Authors:
MURRI M. Belvederi, et al
Journal article citation:
British Journal of Psychiatry, 207(3), 2015, pp.235-242.
Publisher:
Royal College of Psychiatrists

Aims: Interventions including physical exercise may help improve the outcomes of late-life major depression, but few studies are available. This study aimed to investigate whether augmenting sertraline therapy with physical exercise leads to better outcomes of late-life major depression. Method: Primary care patients (465 years) with major depression were randomised to 24 weeks of higher-intensity, progressive aerobic exercise plus sertraline (S+PAE), lower-intensity, non-progressive exercise plus sertraline (S+NPE) and sertraline alone. The primary outcome was remission (a score of ≤10 on the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression). Results: A total of 121 patients were included. At study end, 45% of participants in the sertraline group, 73% of those in the S+NPE group and 81% of those in the S+PAE group achieved remission (P = 0.001). A shorter time to remission was observed in the S+PAE group than in the sertraline-only group. Conclusions: Physical exercise may be a safe and effective augmentation to antidepressant therapy in late-life major depression. (Publisher abstract)

Book

Strategies of care: changing elderly care in Italy and the Netherlands

Author:
ROIT Barbara Da
Publisher:
Amsterdam University Press
Publication year:
2010
Pagination:
220p.
Place of publication:
Amsterdam

This book traces the changes in the elderly care systems of Italy and the Netherlands since the early 1990s, drawing attention to the advantages and disadvantages of these two very different models. It examines the formal care system of the Dutch, and reveals how this system, despite strong policy pressures, has remained relatively stable, while the Italian system has undergone major transitions despite minimal policy intervention. Based on a wealth of data and extensive interviews with both caregivers and patients, this book is designed for anyone interested in the future of European health care debates. Contents include: changing care systems - an introduction; the context and policy trajectories; the challenge of dependence; changing care packages; care packages in practice; the creation of care packages and the transformations of care systems; and conclusions.

Journal article

Religious and spiritual beliefs in outpatients suffering from Parkinson disease

Authors:
GIAQUINTO S., et al
Journal article citation:
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 26(9), September 2011, pp.916-922.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

Parkinson's disease is a progressive illness, generally of late adult life, in which personality changes may occur. This study, undertaken in an area where Roman Catholic people are in the majority, aimed to evaluate whether religious and spiritual beliefs in patients with Parkinson's disease are different from age-matched controls. The study participants were 83 people with Parkinson's disease, 88 randomly selected age-matched healthy subjects, and 79 people affected by hypertension, in Rome, Italy. Spiritual and religious beliefs were assessed using the Royal Free Interview. The article describes the study, analysis and results. 99% of Parkinson's disease participants and 99% of controls declared that they had beliefs. The main conclusions of the study were that Parkinson's disease participants and controls do not differ in their Royal Free Interview score and that Parkinson's disease participants maintain their faith in spite of the disease severity.

Journal article

Chronic endurance exercise training prevents aging-related cognitive decline in healthy older adults: a randomized controlled trial

Authors:
MUSCARI Antonio, et al
Journal article citation:
International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 25(10), October 2010, pp.1055-1064.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

This study investigated the effects of endurance exercise training (EET) on the cognitive status of healthy community-dwelling older people in Pianoro, northern Italy. One hundred and twenty healthy subjects, aged 65 to 74 years, were randomised into treatment and control groups. The treatment consisted of 12 months of supervised EET in a community gym. All participants were assessed both at baseline and after 12 months. Cognitive status was assessed by the Mini Mental State Examination (MMSE). Anthropometric indexes, routine laboratory measurements and C-reactive protein (CRP) were also assessed. The control group showed a significant decrease in MMSE score, which differed significantly from the treatment group scores. The odds ratio for the treated older adults to have a stable cognitive status after 1 year, as compared to the control group, was 2.74 after adjustment for age, gender, educational level and several other possible confounders. Blood pressure, body mass index, waist circumference and serum cholesterol did not differ significantly between the two groups, while CRP decreased only in the treatment group. The authors concluded that a 12-month EET intervention may reduce the onset of age-related cognitive decline.

Journal article

Quality of private personal care for elderly people with a disability living at home: correlates and potential outcomes

Authors:
BILOTTA Claudio, VERGANI Carlo
Journal article citation:
Health and Social Care in the Community, 16(4), July 2008, pp.354-362.
Publisher:
Wiley-Blackwell

To investigate correlates of the quality of private personal care for community-dwelling elderly people, this cross-sectional study enrolled 100 elderly outpatients living at home, along with their private aides and 88 informal caregivers, from May 2005 to January 2007. Cases were stratified according to the quality of private care as was described by both elderly participants and informal caregivers. In cases where the elderly person was suffering from overt cognitive impairment, only the opinions of the informal caregivers were taken into account. A comparison was made between the 'poor or fair care' group (16), the 'intermediate care' group (39) and the "optimal care" group (45). Considering the characteristics of private aides, there was a significant trend across the three groups in terms of language skills and level of distress with life conditions. A statistical analysis performed on 59 elderly participants without an overt cognitive impairment and informal caregivers showed an increase in the European Quality of Life Visual Analogue Scale score in the elderly group and a decrease in the Caregiver Burden Inventory score across the three groups. No significant difference was found between elderly people in the three groups in terms of social variables, functional and cognitive status, prevalence of depressive disorders and morbidity. Therefore, good language skills and non-distressing life conditions of private aides appeared to be correlates of an optimal quality of care for community-dwelling elderly people with a disability, and also a better quality of life for them and less distress for their informal caregivers appeared to be potential outcomes of the quality of personal care.

Journal article

The outdoor mobility and leisure activities of older people in five European countries

Authors:
GAGLIARDI Christina, et al
Journal article citation:
Ageing and Society, 27(5), September 2007, pp.683-700.
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press

Many gerontological studies have dealt with the leisure activities of older people and they have generated many important theories. Although outdoor activities and mobility promote good health in old age, both decrease with increasing age as people lose physical and mental functions. This paper examines the outdoor and indoor leisure activities of 3,950 older adults and their variations by personal and environmental characteristics in Germany, Finland, Hungary, The Netherlands and Italy. The main dimensions of activity were established by factor analysis, and in all countries four factors were found: home activities, hobbies, social activities, and sports activities. Both similar and distinctive pursuits characterised each dimension among the five countries. ‘Home activities’ mainly comprised indoor activities, but the other three dimensions involved more physical mobility. The scores of various socio-environmental characteristics on the factors enabled the attributes of the participants to be profiled. Sports activities and hobbies were performed more often by younger men, by those with good physical functioning and by those who drove cars. Social activities were performed more by women and those who used public transport. Home activities were more frequently performed by those with low physical function and women.

Book

Elderly women, social change and care patterns in Italy

Authors:
LAMURA Giovanni, MENGANI Massimo
Publisher:
Italian National Research Centres on Aging
Publication year:
1995
Pagination:
15p.,diags.,bibliog.
Place of publication:
Ancona, Italy
Book

Contrasting European policies for the care of the elderly

Editors:
JAMIESON Anne, ILLSLEY Raymond
Publisher:
Avebury
Publication year:
1990
Pagination:
199p., tables, bibliogs.
Place of publication:
London

Looks at Belgium, Denmark, France, Greece, Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, and the UK. Part 1 examines the relationship between formal and informal care, Part 2 deals with care systems and care delivery problems. Includes chapter by Ian Sinclair, Peter Gorbach, Enid Levin and Jenny Williams: 'Community care and residential admissions: results from two empirical studies'.

Journal article

Life satisfaction among older people in Italy in a gender approach

Authors:
MEGGIOLARO Silvia, ONGARO Fausta
Journal article citation:
Ageing and Society, 35(7), 2015, pp.1481-1504.
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press

Over the last few decades, increasing attention has been paid to the issue of wellbeing among older people, and life satisfaction has been used as an indicator to evaluate older people's life conditions. This paper sheds some light on this topic by examining life satisfaction among people aged 65 and older and its predictors. The authors adopt a gender approach to examine whether older men and women have different sources of satisfaction. This hypothesis is tested in Italy, a country still characterised by an unbalanced public and private gender system. The study also examines whether living arrangements, specifically living alone, influence the determinants of life satisfaction of older men and women. The data used are from the cross-sectional surveys ‘Aspects of Daily Life’, undertaken in Italy by the National Statistical Institute. The results do not show clear gender differences in the determinants of life satisfaction, with only some slight gender differences among those living alone. This suggests that the social and cultural environment may play a relevant role for older people's life satisfaction. (Edited publisher abstract)

Book Full text available online for free

Care regimes on the move: comparing home care for dependent older people in Belgium, England, Germany and Italy

Authors:
DEGAVRE Florence, et al
Publisher:
Universite Catholique de Louvan. Centre Interdisciplinaire de Recherche Travail, Etat et Societe
Publication year:
2012
Pagination:
290p.
Place of publication:
Charleroi

Taking the reforms of the 1990s as its starting point, this report examines the dynamics of change experienced by Belgium, England, Germany and Italy in their home care sectors. Central to our analysis is the process of “marketisation”. This constitutes one of the major trends in all these four countries, yet its nature and impact show important national variations. The data referred to in this report relate to developments in and around various home care sectors, and cover both societal and organisational dynamics. Country-based research teams gathered the information, each team following identical methodological guidelines. This report uses official documents and grey literature from the care sector to analyse the discourses underpinning reforms in the field. The conclusions of this research will be of relevance for any country or region struggling to design a home care system for an ageing population. The coordinators of this research project have submitted a proposal for a special issue of Ageing and Society based on the main chapters of this report.

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