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Print version ISSN 1134-928X


FRAGOEIRO, Isabel; PESTANA, Maria Helena  and  PAUL, Constança. Mental health of the older people from the self-governing Region of Madeira: Pilot study. Gerokomos [online]. 2007, vol.18, n.4, pp.23-27. ISSN 1134-928X.

Mental health was assessed in accordance with the structure proposed by Ware & Veit (1) which considers psychological well-being and distress. The purpose of this pilot study, carried out in Madeira Autonomous Region (RAM), was to validate the research protocol for characterising the mental health of the Region’s older people. Sixty three elders were chosen for the Mini Mental Health Examination and 47 of these were included in the sample. All of the people were aged 65 or older and lived in the community. Nearly all of the people could carry out basic daily life activities independently. The average points score found for the Mental Health Inventory shows that the mental health index of these older people is greater than that found by Ribeiro (2) in a sample of young Portuguese people. The research protocol was shown to be suitable. The results have provided us with an initial snap-shot of the mental health of the elders in Madeira.

Keywords : Elders; mental health; psychological well-being; distress; community.

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