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Year : 2013  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 309-312

Prevalence of depression among geriatric population in a rural area in Tamilnadu

1 Department of Community Medicine, Vinayaka Missions Kirupananda Variyar Medical College, Salem, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Annapoorna Medical College, Salem, Tamilnadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Shankar Radhakrishnan
Departments of Community Medicine, Vinayaka Missions Kirupananda Variyar Medical College, Chinna Seeragapadi, Salem, Tamilnadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2231-0738.114880

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Background: Ageing is a universal process that is associated with deteriorating health status. Even though depression is the commonest psychiatric disorder in the elderly, it is commonly misdiagnosed and under treated. This could be due to the misconception that depression is part of aging rather than a treatable condition. Aim: To assess the prevalence of depression and the factors influencing depression among the geriatric population in a rural area in Tamil Nadu Settings and Design: A cross sectional study was conducted among 400 geriatric population at Attayampatti village in Salem district which is a rural field practicing area for our medical college for a period of 6 months between June 2011 and December 2011. Materials and Methods: A validated depression assessment scale was used to assess their depression status and the various demographic factors like age, sex, education, monthly income, spouse living status were analysed to see for any association with depression. Statistical Analysis: Mean proportions, Chi square and odds ratio. Results: Of the total population 41.2% were normal, 37.8% were having mild depression and 21% were severely depressed. Of the various demographic factors advanced age, sex, education, monthly income, spouse living status, history of chronic ailments and smoking showed a statistically significant association with depression. Conclusion: The results reaffirm that there is a high prevalence of depression among the geriatric population and adequate measures to detect and control this psychiatric disorder in elderly by specialized geropsychiatric services are needed.

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