Depression and associated characteristics among community-based elderly people.

Elizabeth Schulman, Gerry Gairola, Linda Kuder, Jan McCulloch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Depression is a major health problem, particularly among the elderly. It is important that allied health professionals, especially those working with the elderly, understand this often serious condition. The data for this article were collected as part of an interdisciplinary geriatric health care team project, which included allied health professionals working in rural and urban clinics. The primary purpose of this study was to determine the association of depression with various demographic, medical, mental, physical functionality, and social factors among community-based elderly people. A logistic regression (backward selection) indicated that elderly people living alone were 3.3 times more likely to be depressed than elderly residing in a household with others. As assistance with instrumental activities of daily living increased, the likelihood of depression also increased. Most significantly, urban residents were 3.8 times more likely to be depressed than their rural counterparts. Additional research into the differences in the prevalence of depression between urban and rural elderly would provide a more in-depth understanding of this problem and help to identify more effective treatment plans for different elderly populations. Other independent variables, including demographic, medical, and social characteristics were not found to be significantly predictive of depression in this study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-146
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of allied health
Volume31
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

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