Depressive episodes and depressive tendencies among a sample of adults in Kielce, south-eastern Poland

Division of Mental Health, Institute of Public Health, Oslo, Norway; Department of Health Promotion and Development, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway
Health Promotion Foundation, Warsaw, Poland
Department of Public Health and General Practice, The Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway
Department of Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention, the Maria Skłodowska-Curie Cancer Centre and Institute of Oncology, Warsaw, Poland
Department of Cancer Epidemiology and Prevention, the Maria Skłodowska-Curie Cancer Centre and Institute of Oncology, Warsaw, Poland; European Health Inequalities Observatory, Institute of Rural Health, Lublin, Poland
Ann Agric Environ Med 2011;18(2):273–278
Introduction and Objectives: Previous community research has shown differences in depression and depressive symptoms across different socioeconomic and demographic groups. However, very few population-based studies on depression have been conducted in Poland. The purpose of the present study is to assess depressive episodes and depressive tendencies, and associations of the latter with selected socio-economic and demographic predictors among a sample of adults from Poland. Materials and Methods: Data stem from a community health survey carried out as part of a large prospective study among people aged 45-64 in the Kielce province of south-eastern Poland (n=3,862). Self-reported depressive episodes, depressive tendencies (7 items) and use of antidepressants were measured. Depressive tendencies were modelled as a latent variable and analyzed against selected demographic and socioeconomic predictors. Results: The prevalence of depressive episodes was higher among females (25.0%) than among males (14.7%). When depressive tendencies were modelled as a latent variable, the following predictors were associated with high scores: age (females only), living in rural districts, being a pensioner (not including old age pension), and being unemployed (males only). Scores on depressive tendencies were negatively associated with high education, being self-employed (borderline significance only) and high personal income. Conclusions: Depressive episodes were prevalent among the sample. If the associations between depressive tendencies and demographic variables shown in this study are confirmed by future studies, it suggests that action should be taken to offer improved preventive action and improved mental health services – such as early treatment – to females, people living in rural areas, and selected low status segments of the population in particular.