Prevalence and factors associated with depression among the elderly in a rural community

Sandhya Mishra, Amit Nandan Mishra, Vaibhav Singh, Vijayshree Verma


Background: Senior citizen elderly or old age consists of ages close to or exceeding the average life span of human beings. The limit of old age cannot be defined precisely because it does not have the same meaning in all societies by the middle of this century, there could be 100 million elderly people living in the India according to United Nations World population prospects report. Depression is the common psychiatric disorder among elderly. The aim of the study was to estimate the prevalence of Depression among elderly in a rural population. Design of the study was a cross sectional study conducted among 450 elderly populations in rural community of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh.

Methods: A validated geriatric depression scale (Geriatric depression scale (GDS) 30) was used to assess their depression status and the various demographic details, socio economic status and living arrangements were analyzed to see for any association with depression. Statistical analysis was chi square test and odds ratio.

Results: Among the 450 elderly subjects studied. The prevalence of depression among elderly males was found to be 48% and among females 56% and the difference in the prevalence of depression among males and females was found to be statistically significance (p=0.03).

Conclusions: The results confirmed that there is a high prevalence of depression among the elderly population. There is a need to improve geriatrics health care services combined with proper monitoring and evaluation.


Depression, Elderly, Health care services

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