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Depression and activity limitations: examining gender differences in the general population

TitleDepression and activity limitations: examining gender differences in the general population
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsBreslin, F.. C., Gnam W.., Franche R.-L.., Mustard C.., and Lin E..
JournalSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Pages648 - 655
Keywordsdepression, functional impairment, gender differences, longitudinal

Background This study examines the relationship between major depression, subclinical depressive symptomatology and activity limitation in a representative sample of Canadian men and women, with a particular emphasis on examining gender differences. Methods Over a 4-year period, the three waves of data were collected from a representative sample of Canadian adults aged 18-60 beginning in 1994. A brief diagnostic interview for major depression, current limitations in home, work, and other activities (e.g., leisure), presence of each of 13 chronic medical conditions, and other sociodemographic information were gathered. Regression analyses adjusted for potential confounding of time-dependent and time-invariant covariates. These analyses were performed separately for men and women. Results Major depression had a significant adverse impact on all types of activities for the entire community sample, and this impact was generally robust when controlling for potential confounders. Gender differences were observed for leisure activities with depressed men showing a higher likelihood of limitation in these activities than depressed women. Conclusions The findings provide further evidence that major depression leads to impairments in a range of daily activities. Gender differences in the impact of depression on leisure activities may be important to consider in depression treatment.