Socio‑demographic Predictors of Depression among the Elderly Patients Attending Out Patient Departments of a Tertiary Hospital in North India

Hussain Akhtar, Amir Maroof Khan, K Vikram Vaidhyanathan, Pragti Chhabra, AT Kannan


Background: Depression is the most common geriatric psychiatric disorder. Other than organic, socio‑demographic factors, have been found to play an important role in mental health. In this study we evaluated the association of some socio-demographic factors with geriatric depression

Methods: A cross‑sectional study was carried out in the Out Patient Department registration area of a tertiary care teaching hospital in Delhi. Questionnaire based interviews were conducted among the elderly people visiting the hospital. A 15‑item geriatric depression scale‑Hindi was used to assess depression.

Results: Six hundred and seventy eight subjects were interviewed. The age of the subjects ranged from 65 to 85 years. About three‑fourth of the study population were males. About 61.4% scored positive for depression. Multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that the following were significant (P<0.05) independent predictors of depression: Higher age, low educational status, financial dependence and presence of any chronic health problem.

Conclusions: The present study found that the prevalence of depression among the study subjects was high. Also the independent risk factors found in this study need to be targeted in formulating mental health policy for geriatrics.

Keywords: Depression, geriatric, geriatric depression scale, socio‑demographic factors

Full Text: