Late-Life Depressive Symptoms, Religiousness, and Mood in the Last Week of Life

A. W. Braam, M. Klinkenberg, H. Galenkamp, D.J.H. Deeg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic

Abstract

Aim of the current study is to examine whether previous depressive symptoms modify possible effects of religiousness on mood in the last week of life. After-death interviews with proxy respondents of deceased sample members of the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam provided information on depressed mood in the last week of life, as well as on the presence of a sense of peace with the approaching end of life. Other characteristics were derived from interviews with the sample members when still alive. Significant interactions were identified between measures of religiousness and previous depressive symptoms (CES-D scores) in their associations with mood in the last week of life. Among those with previous depressive symptoms, church-membership, church-attendance and salience of religion were associated with a greater likelihood of depressed mood in the last week of life. Among those without previous depressive symptoms, church-attendance and salience of religion were associated with a higher likelihood of a sense of peace. For older adults in the last phase of life, supportive effects of religiousness were more or less expected. Fore those with recent depressive symptoms, however, religiousness might involve a component of existential doubt.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalDepression research and treatment
Volume2012
Issue numberArticle ID 754031
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012

Cite this