A quarter of the elderly population is prescribed benzodiazepines (BZD). This has led to growing concerns about drug dependence and the validity of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) criteria for dependence to a substance. This study aimed to understand how dependence was experienced by long-term BZD users. Interviews were conducted with 45 elderly persons who had been using BZDs for an average of nine years. These users' comments suggest six indicators of dependence: self-identifying as a dependent user, invoking multiple stressors to justify BZD use, using BZD to cope with anticipated stressors, trivializing the dangers of BZDs, keeping a supply in reserve, having previously tried and failed to stop, and reducing the dosage. Our results stress the need to take a more elaborate, person-centered view of dependence.
A Swedish version of the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale was validated in 53 women, in comparison with an interview based on the Comprehensive Psychopathological Rating Scale (CPRS-Depression). The EPDS was then applied to 258 women on four occasions, first at 2 and 6 weeks and then at 3 and 8 months post partum. At 2 weeks the proportion of women with signs of depression was 26%, 8% at 6 weeks, 13% at 3 months and 8% at 8 months. An analysis of the 10 items in the EPDS was performed. The subjects felt the questionnaire to express their situation accurately and relevantly. It was also regarded as easy to complete.