Prevalence of depression and associated factors among rural elderly, residing in field practice area of a private medical college in South India: a cross sectional study

Pandiyan K. R., Gopinath T. T., Punitha V. C., Kokila Selvaraj, Sakthivel M.


Background: Ageing is inevitable and is associated with deterioration in health status. Aging process can affect the physical health and mental wellbeing can also be at stake. Depression is most common among these mental disorders with a prevalence ranging from 11.6% to 31.1% in India. It becomes important to assess the burden of mental health problems in the community especially in rural areas where the knowledge is less. This study aimed to estimate the prevalence of depression among the elderly population residing in rural field practice area of a Private Medical College and assess factors influencing the same.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among elderly (>60 years) residing in the 5 villages in the rural field practice area. Sample size was calculated, and 354 elders were recruited for the study by 2 stage sampling technique. Geriatric depression scale 30 was used to assess their depression status.

Results: Out of 354 elders 63.84% of them had no depression, 25.70% of them had mild and 10.45% had severe depression. Factors like illiteracy, widowers, elderly sleeping <6 hours and consumption of addictive >20 years where found to be positively associated with depression (p<0.05).

Conclusions: This study shows high prevalence of depression among the rural elderly people and is significantly associated with illiteracy and widowers.




Depression, Elderly, GDS 30 Scale

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Vital_statistics. Available at https:// censusindia. Accessed on 24 December 2020.

Ageing and health. Available at https:// Accessed on 24 December 2020.

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