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Care of the older person
Hopelessness during acute hospitalisation is a strong predictor of mortality
  1. Rita Gruber1,2,
  2. Manuel Schwanda2
  1. 1Quality Management, Diakonissen Hospital, Linz, Austria
  2. 2Health Sciences, St Pölten University of Applied Sciences, St. Pölten, Austria
  1. Correspondence to Mrs Rita Gruber, Diakonissen Hospital, Linz, Austria; rita.gruber{at}

Statistics from

Commentary on: Reichardt LA, Nederveen FE, van Seben R, et al. Hopelessness and other depressive symptoms in adults 70 years and older as predictors of all-cause mortality within 3 months after acute hospitalisation: the Hospital-ADL Study. Psychosom Med 2019;81:477–85.

Implications for practice and research

  • Being aware of the importance of mental health in acute hospitalisation can be life-saving.

  • In further research data of psychiatric/psychological interventions during the patients hospital stay as well as the cause of death after discharge are necessary to find out more about the relationship between feeling hopeless and mortality.


Late-life depression (LLD) is a very common mental health disorder in elderly people (after age 60) all over the world.

Increased morbidity and mortality as well as a higher risk for dementia, coronary heart disease or suicide are associated with LLD.1

Anhedonia and a depressed mood through most of the day1 as well as feeling hopeless2 are major symptoms of this disease. If …

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