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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 62  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 89-94

A study on prevalence of depression and associated risk factors among elderly in a rural block of Tamil Nadu

1 Assistant Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Chettinad Hospital and Research Institute, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Apollo Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh, India
3 Professor, Department of Community Medicine, SRM Medical College Hospital and Research Centre, Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
M Buvneshkumar
Department of Community Medicine, Chettinad Hospital and Research Institute, Kelambakkam, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijph.IJPH_33_17

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Background: Depression among elderly is an important public health problem responsible for considerable morbidity and disability. Causes of depression are multifactorial and often preventable. As there was dearth of community studies in Tamil Nadu, the present study was undertaken. Objectives: The objective of this study is to estimate the prevalence of depression and to assess the factors which are associated with depression among elderly. Methods: A cross-sectional study was done from July 2014 to July 2015 among elderly in Kattankulathur block with a sample size of 690 by cluster sampling method. House-to-house interview was conducted using a predesigned, pre-tested questionnaire, and depression was assessed using geriatric depression scale-30. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 20 (Trial). The statistical tests used were proportions, Chi-square test. P<0.05 was considered to be statistically significant. Results: The overall prevalence of depression was 35.5% (95% confidence interval: 31.9%–39.0%). Sociodemographic factors such as female sex, nuclear family, being widowed, unemployed status, low socioeconomic status, financially dependent, medical factors such as cardiac disease, visual impairment, arthritis, anemia, life events such as conflicts in family, death of the family member or close relative, and illness of self/family member were significantly associated with depression (P < 0.05). Conclusions: More strength of association for depression was seen with low socioeconomic status, nuclear family, low-intensity work, conflicts in the family, death of family members using multiple logistic regression. These findings show the need for proper care by the family members and counseling for the elderly which are of much importance in preventing depression.

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