The Mental Health Research Protocol of the Multidimensional Study of the Elderly in the Family Health Strategy in Porto Alegre, Brazil (EMI-SUS)

  • Eduardo Lopes Nogueira Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul
  • Paula Fernandes Moretti Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul
  • Francisco Pascoal Ribeiro Junior Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul
  • Edgar Chagas Diefenthaeler Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul
  • Alfredo Cataldo Neto Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul
  • Paula Engroff Engroff Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul
  • José Celestino Borges Filho Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul
  • Fernanda Loureiro Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul
  • Irenio Gomes Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul
Keywords: Research methodology. Mental health. Elderly. Method. Geriatric psychiatry.

Abstract

Introduction: The rapid aging process in low and middle-income countries poses a major challenge and has special repercussions for mental health. This is especially true for diseases that impair cognition and emotion regulation such as depression and dementia. In Brazil, caring for the elderly is a public health priority. Aims: To describe the scientific methodology and practical applicability of a mental health study tailored to seniors; to provide data to improve mental health assessment and care; to describe a primary care methodology that is replicable in other regions. Methods: A cross sectional study using stratified randomized sampling. Study participants were residents of Porto Alegre, over 60 years, and enrolled in the Family Health Strategy program. Study prioritized the examination of psychiatric and cognitive characteristics by using multiprofessional indicators of mental health. Data was collected in two phases: screening and specialized diagnosis. Conclusion: The paper provides a methodological model to assist researchers in similar studies. Striking an adequate balance between assistance and research is a major challenge. Protocols that prospect and examine the leading mental health problems in the elderly could close the gap between identification of older adults with early symptoms and those at risk of developing depression and dementia. A stratified approach to screening and diagnosing cognitive and mood and disorders for all levels in public health that uses low cost instruments in a real setting will benefit communities and can provide local empowerment.

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Published
2015-06-23
How to Cite
Nogueira, E. L., Moretti, P. F., Ribeiro Junior, F. P., Diefenthaeler, E. C., Cataldo Neto, A., Engroff, P. E., Borges Filho, J. C., Loureiro, F., & Gomes, I. (2015). The Mental Health Research Protocol of the Multidimensional Study of the Elderly in the Family Health Strategy in Porto Alegre, Brazil (EMI-SUS). PAJAR - Pan American Journal of Aging Research, 2(1), 29-34. https://doi.org/10.15448/2357-9641.2014.1.19457
Section
Research Methodology