Mood worsened from symptoms of depression | HQCA Focus

Healthcare Areas

Also in this section
long term icon

Long Term Care

Mood worsened from symptoms of depression

Percentage of long term care residents whose mood symptoms worsened between assessments. (see data definition)

Data source: Alberta Health Services, Analytics. “All 35 QIs by province/zone/facility”. (2024). [Dashboards showing RAI quality indicators, by province, zone, and site, by quarter]. AHS Tableau Reporting Platform.

What do you think?

  • Looking at these results over time, are there any trends?
  • Looking at these results over time and between zones, are there differences?
  • After selecting a facility, are the site results changing over time? How do the most recent quarter results compare to the provincial and zone results?
  • When comparing sites with similarities like zone, setting (e.g., urban or rural), operator type (e.g., private), and size, how are the results different? What factors could account for these differences?

Understanding "worsened depression"

Experiencing depression is common among older persons living in long term care who may have experienced a number of life losses associated with chronic disease, the aging process, and the physical move from community into a care setting. Other common causes of depression for long term care residents include pain, lack of purpose, and loneliness.

Depression also goes unrecognized in many older adults, more often in residents living with dementia.

Depression can potentially be lessened with person-centred care strategies (e.g., better relationships with care providers, improved health literacy and decision-making skills that promote independence) and continued involvement with their original home communities and activities.

Considerations when viewing the results:

When thinking about this quality indicator, providers and leaders can consider a number of things to better understand and improve these results. Some questions they could ask before taking action include:

  • How are sites currently recognizing symptoms of depression and mood distress? How can consistent care staff assignments lead to early recognition and response to symptoms of depression and mood distress? How can the interdisciplinary team work together to identify and address underlying factors that can contribute to symptoms of depression and mood distress, such as pain from immobility and medication side-effects (e.g., constipation, confusion)? What approaches support well-being?
  • How does cognitive impairment and other communication barriers make it more difficult for staff to identify underlying causes of depressive symptoms?
  • What options are available to staff to help address contributing factors of depression?
  • For any activities that are implemented to help lessen depression or mood distress, how is their effectiveness being measured?

Alberta Quality Matrix for Health

The Health Quality Council of Alberta uses the Alberta Quality Matrix for Health as a way of organizing information and thinking around the complexity of the healthcare system. This measure can be used as input to assess long term care’s performance in these dimensions of quality: Acceptability, Appropriateness, Effectiveness, and Safety.