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Assessment of Risk Factors and Prevalence of Depression among Elderly Subjects in a Rural Community

Author:Anshuman Sharma, Sanjeeev Kumar Gupta, Agrawal S Sanjay, Gupta Sanjay, Sarouthia Shalini

Keywords:Depression, Elderly, Rural, Aging, Mental health, India

Type:Original Article

Abstract:"Background: In the current scenario, worldwide there is increase in geriatric population in the society, among whom mental health is an imperative and neglected public health problem. World health Organization (WHO) state that some of the factors respon-sible for depression in age > 60 years include chronic degenerative diseases & disability, pain, fear, frustration, restriction of day to day activity, personality traits and genetic susceptibility. Objective: The objective of current study is to assess the prevalence of depression and identify associated risk factors for depression in the geriatric rural population. Material and Methods: It was a cross sectional study conducted in a rural community adjoining the Rural Health and Training Centre, comprising of 400 participants. The instrument employed to appraise the participants was World Health Organization Disability Assessment Scale II; following which statistical analysis was done by using chi square test of significance. Results: Of 400 participants interviewed, average age of the par-ticipants was 72.7 years. Prevalence of any episode of depression was 14%. Past history of depression was found in only 6% cases; while mild cognitive impairment was observed in 12% cases. Mean WHODAS score was 27.92 ± 13.7. Significant differences were observed in relation to their marital status, religion, type of family and socioeconomic status. Conclusion: We conclude that old age is associated with depression which necessitates it to be accurately and timely diagnosed ensuring proper care and support to elderly population with emphasis on geriatrics mental health care