Introduction With a rapidly ageing society, geriatric depression is emerging as important public health concern. The untreated depressed elderly patients have significant clinical and social implications as these disorders decrease an individual's quality of life and increase dependence on others. The present study aimed to assess the level of depression and its associated factors among the elderly (60 years old and above) in an old home.
Methods Under a cross sectional design 107 respondents aged >60 years were selected purposively from an Old Home of Dhaka city, Bangladesh. A 30-item Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) questionnaire was used to assess the level of depression with a score ≤9 as normal or non-depressive, 10–19 as mild and 20–30 as severely depressed.
Results Mean age of study participants was 69.4±5.1 years and 63% were male, 46.7% illiterate, 61.7% from rural area. About half of elderly respondents were having some degree of depression of whom 8.4% were severely depressed. Depression was more common in females (60%) than males (40%). Depression was significantly associated with nuclear family (p=0.009), low family income (p=0.001), female gender (p=0.048), chronic illness (p=0.042) and widow or widowers (p=0.036). No influence of educational status and living area was found.
Conclusion This study showed that proportion of depression was high among elderly and depression was significantly associated with nuclear family, female gender, chronic illness, widow/widower and low family income. Along with other illness depression should also be one of the key areas of concern for the elderly population.