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Title: Surviving depression and adversity : a grounded theory on older adults' experience of depression and recovery in secondary care services
Author: Lo, Maggie
ISNI:       0000 0004 2737 3798
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2011
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Depression is the most frequent mental illness experienced by people aged 60 and over. Despite numerous research studies on late life depressive disorder, relatively little is known about how older adult interviewees view and experience depression and, in particular, how they interpret the signs and process of recovery. A total of30 interviewees (23 women and seven men) aged 60 and over participated in the study. All were either undergoing treatments for Major Depressive Disorder, or had recently recovered. Semi structured interviews were used to encourage them to share their experiences of depression, in particular their recovery progress. All interviews were taped, transcribed and analysed using the grounded theory approach. Interviewees describe their main concern as 'surviving depression and adversity' and there are three related categories to the emerging theory: 'descending into a life of adversity and depression', 'getting by in their daily life, and 'overcoming depression and adaptation '. In 'descending into a life of adversity and depression '; interviewees described the triggers to depression and how depression abruptly consumes every aspect of their lives. 'Getting by in their daily life' provides an insight into interviewees' daily experience and how the~ negotiate through the complex experience of depression. In 'overcoming depression and adaptation', the interviewees' experience of depression recedes which enables the individual to resume every day activities and define themselves as no longer depressed. 'Surviving depression and adversity' is the interviewees' main concern. Adversities are often identified as triggers; they are experienced as part of their depression. Nevertheless, these are frequently ignored in depression treatments that focus on symptom reduction and how depression outcome is measured. The interviewees' prognosis was closely related to adversities which they face. Unresolved, additional adversities maintain their depressive state. In terms of recovery, the interviewees' first goal is to overcome their depressive symptoms but ultimately it was about surviving through their existing and future adverse life events. The findings of this study highlight disparities between the interviewees and the biomedical perspective in terms of definition, treatment, and measurement of outcome in relationship to depression. The clinical and research implications from this research are considered.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available