Author(s): Sinha SP, Shrivastava SR, Ramasamy J, Sinha SP, Shrivastava SR, Ramasamy J
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Abstract INTRODUCTION: With a rapidly aging society, geriatric mental health is emerging as an important public health concern. According to the WHO, prevalence of depression in adults aged ≥60 years in developed and developing countries was 0.5 million and 4.8 million respectively in 2004. In India, increased life expectancy led to a rise in the older adult population between 2001 and 2011, expected to reach 324 million by 2050. OBJECTIVES: To estimate the prevalence of depression and assess association between sociodemographic parameters and depression among older adults in a rural Indian community. METHODS: A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted in February and March 2012 in the rural village of Sembakkam, Kancheepuram District in the state of Tamil Nadu, India; the village has a population of 5948, 3.1\% of whom are aged ≥60 years. Universal sampling technique was employed, in which every household in the community was visited and all elderly persons were selected. After obtaining written informed consent (a thumbprint was taken if the person was illiterate), participants were assessed face to face for depression using the Short Form Geriatric Depression Scale. The inclusion criterion was a score >24 on the mini-mental state examination. Final sample size was 103. Study variables included sociodemographic parameters such as age, sex, education, occupation, socioeconomic status, and marital status. Data entry and statistical analysis used SPSS version 17. RESULTS: Of 103 respondents interviewed, 73 (70.9\%) were aged 60-69 years and 58 (56.3\%) were male. Forty-four (42.7\%) individuals (17 males, 27 females) were found to be depressed; 23 (22.3\%) with mild depression, 14 (13.6\%) moderate depression and 7 (6.8\%) severe depression. Female sex and widowhood were significantly associated with depression. CONCLUSIONS: Depression, particularly mild depression, is common in this rural population of older adults, particularly among women and widowed elderly. These study findings can help program managers implement a more comprehensive strategy in this community for timely interventions to promote mental health and prevent geriatric depression.
This article was published in MEDICC Rev
and referenced in Journal of Aging Science