Background The EURO–D, a12-item self-report questionnaire for depression, was developed with the aim of facilitating cross-cultural research into late-life depression in Europe.
Aims To describe the national variation in depression symptoms and syndrome prevalence across ten European countries.
Method The EURO–D was administered to cross-sectional nationally representative samples of noninstitutionalised persons aged ≥50 years (n=22 777). The effects of age, gender, education and cognitive functioning on individual symptoms and EURO–D factor scores were estimated. Country-specific depression prevalence rates and mean factor scores were re-estimated, adjusted for these compositional effects.
Results The prevalence of all symptoms was higher in the Latin ethno-lingual group of countries, especially symptoms related to motivation. Women scored higher on affective suffering; older people and those with impaired verbal fluency scored higher on motivation.
Conclusions The prevalence of individual EURO–D symptoms and of probable depression (cut-off score ≥4) varied consistently between countries. Standardising for effects of age, gender, education and cognitive function suggested that these compositional factors did not account for the observed variation.
- © 2007 Royal College of Psychiatrists