A comparative study of depression among the elderly living in old age homes and community in Visakhapatnam, India

Deepthi Karini, Siva Kumar Lotheti, Devi Madhavi Bhimarasetty


Background: Depression in old age is an emerging public health problem leading to morbidity and disabling effect on the quality of life. Depression in elderly is not yet perceived as a public health problem and is grossly underdiagnosed and undertreated. The physical and social environment plays an important role on the mental health of the elderly. Hence the present study was undertaken to assess and compare the depression among elderly residing in old age homes (OAHs) and community. The objective of the study was to assess and compare depression among elderly residing in OAHs and those living in community.

Methods: A cross sectional study was done from October to December, 2016 among 100 elderly, of which 50 were inmates of old age homes and 50 were living in community selected by house to house survey. A pre tested, externally validated short form geriatric depression scale (GDS-15) in the local language is used after taking informed consent.

Results: Prevalence of depression was high among inmates of old age homes (80%) compared to those of community (52%), this difference was statistically significant (p=0.003). On analyzing the association between sociodemographic factors and depression among the elderly residing in the community, it was found that marital status and presence of chronic disease were significantly associated with depression (p<0.05). Whereas among the elderly residing in old age homes, no significant asociation was found between depression and the sociodemographic factors.

Conclusions: High prevalence of depression observed among the studied population indicates the need of screening for depression among elderly.


Depression, Elderly, Geriatric depression scale, Old age homes, Visakhapatnam

Full Text:



WHO. Geneva. Aging and Life course, Family and Community Health. Global Age-Friendly Cities, 2007.

Elderly in India- Profile and Programmes, 2016. Available at: Accessed on 15 June 2017.

George S, Francis PT, Paul N, Leelamoni K. Depression among elderly: A comparative study among the elderly living in old age homes and own homes in Ernakulam, Kerala state, India. Int J Emerging Tech Res. 2015;2(4):62-6.

World Health Organization (WHO). Global Health and Aging. Available at: ageing/publications/global_health.pdf. Accessed on 21 May 2016.

Narendra N. Wig. World Health Day 2001. Indian J Psychiatry. 2001;43(1):1–4.

Kumar V. Care of the elderly. A training manual for multipurpose health workers and medical officers of primary health care system in India 1996, AIIMS, New Delhi, India, 1996.

Ingle, Gopal K, Nath A. Geriatric health in India: Concerns and solutions. Indian J Community Med. 2008;33(4):214-8.

World health organization (WHO). Health situation and trend assessment. Available at: http://www.−population/en/. Accessed on 21 July 2016.

Yesavage JA. Geriatric depression scale (short version);Psychopharmacol Bull. 1998;24:709-11.

Rayirala A, Nallapaneni RN. Mandadi GD, Bhogaraju A. A cross sectional comparative study assessing the psychiatric morbidity in elderly living in old age homes and community. AP J Psychol Med. 2014;15(1):86-92.

Praveen Kumar BA, Udayar SE, Sravan S, Arun D. Depression and anxiety among the elderly persons from institutional and noninstitutional settings in the field practice area of a tertiary-care institute, Andhra Pradesh: a comparative study. Int J Med Sci Public Health. 2016;5(11):1-4.

Parikh P. Comparative Study on Depression among Old Age Persons Residing with Family and Old Age Homes. Int J Indian Psychol. 2017;4(3):60-8.

Sharma M, Sharma T. Comparative study to assess & compare depression among elderly population living in selected old age homes & community. Int J Multidisciplinary Res Develop. 2016;3(8):318-20.