Factors Affecting the Level of Depression Among Thai Elderly
10 Pages Posted: 12 May 2016 Last revised: 19 May 2016
Date Written: January 28, 2016
Background: The fertility rate in Thailand is decreasing; one of its implications is an increase in the elderly population. Thailand is among the Southeast Asian countries with the highest number of elderly population. Among those illnesses affecting the elderly that is given less attention is depression.
Methodology: This study was conducted to identify the prevalence rate, level of depression and factors affecting depression among the elderly in the community. This descriptive study was conducted with 150 elderly respondents aged 65 and above with no previous history of psychiatric illness. A pre-tested questionnaire (Geriatric Depression Scale) was used to identify the level of depression.
Results: The prevalence of depression among the elderly is 68%, with female respondents accounting for 45.33 percent and 22.6 percent from men. In terms of level of depression, 46.67% were found to have mild depression, 17.33% with moderate and only 4% with severe depression. Using the 0.05 margin of error of Chi-square test (x2) the factors significantly affecting the level of depression that had been identified were Marital status (12.59), Occupation (23.68) and Underlying disease (23.68). Other factors such as age, gender, educational background and support system were not found to be significant.
Conclusion: Therefore, the prevalence rate of depression in the community is high and must be given enough attention by community health leaders in order to adopt preventive interventions including health teaching for chronic illness, social activities, behavior modification and sensory stimulating activities.
Keywords: elderly, elderly depression, level of depression, prevalence rate, Thailand
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