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The Prevalence and Correlates of Depression of the Elderly in Local Community Centers in Nantou, Taiwan

Pei-Chi Liu, Ming-Shun Chung

Objectives: Depression in the elderly has become a serious health-care issue worldwide. In this study, we intended to evaluate the prevalence of depressive tendency among community-dwelling elderly in Nantou Prefecture, to assess sociodemographic factor in relation to depression, and to compare the characteristics of different community centers. Methods: We enrolled 133 old adult dwellers in five community centers in Nantou City and Zhongliao Township in Nantou Prefecture, Taiwan. Demographic and medical information was collected and participants filled Chinese versions of the Geriatric Depression Scale-Short Form (GDS-15). Results: The cutoff point of GDS-15 was set above 5. The prevalence of depressive tendency in community centers in Nantou was 24.1%. Multivariate logistic regression analysis demonstrated that having financial strain (odds ratio [OR] = 4.698, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.90–12.70, p < 0.01) and physical illness (OR = 2.144, 95% CI = 1.09–4.24, p < 0.01) were significant risk factors of depressive symptoms in this sample. However, no significant difference was found in depression in seniors between suburban and rural community. Conclusion: This result showed that depression was common in Nantou City and Zhongliao Township. Having financial strain and physical illness were the significant risk factors for depression in seniors. The intervention to reduce depressive symptoms in the elderly should include strategies about addressing those risk factors in local community.
Key Word community center, financial strain, physical illness, Taiwan
Editorial Committe, Taiwanese Journal of Psychiatry
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