Att uppmärksamma och förbättra depressiva symptom hos äldre
: erfarenheter bland distriktssköterskor i hemsjukvården

Translated title of the thesis: Identifying and improving depressive symptoms among elderly people: experiences by district nurses within home nursing
  • Charlotta Fredriksson

Student thesis: Master, one year


Mental illness is a growing problem in society, both global and in Sweden and the risk of suffering from depressive symptoms (DS) increases with ageing. It can be difficult to identify DS in an older person. Elderly people are sometimes at a higher risk of mental pressure, when at the same time dealing with sickness, loss of close relationships and loneliness, which often lead to DS. These symptoms cause the elderly person a great suffering, increases the risk of dying prematurely and is a big cost for the society. The aim was to study district nurses experiences when it comes to identify and improve DS by elderly people in municipal home nursing. The method was qualitative and had an inductive approach. Eight district nurses from five different municipalities in southern Sweden were interviewed for 30-60 minutes. The analysis was qualitative which means that parts with meaning contents were identified and processed into categories and subcategories. The result showed that district nurses used their intuitive ability and leaned on their experience, when in an encounter and in a conversation with an elderly person identified DS. The encounter and the conversation with an elderly person turned out to be an important instrument even when it came to improve these symptoms. A valuation scale was not used in any of the municipalities. The district nurse in home nursing has and unique possibility to, in an early stage, identify DS and by different caring actions improve these symptoms. By standing up for the elderly person's right to get the care and treatment he/she is in need of, the district nurse has a key function in the role as the elderly person’s representative.

Date of Award2020-May-12
Original languageSwedish
SupervisorLina Behm (Supervisor) & Gerd Röndahl (Examiner)

Educational program

  • Graduate diploma in primary health care specialist nursing

University credits

  • 15 HE credits

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Nursing (30305)


  • depressive symptoms
  • identify
  • improve
  • elderly people
  • district nurse
  • home nursing

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