Background : Elderly psychiatric problems, especially depression, are more prevalent nowadays because of increasing elderly population. We investigated factors associated with geriatric depression in order to under stand the disease more properly because it is essential for proper medical management and social interventions.
Methods : 302 geriatric patients aging 60 or more who visited family medicine clinics, rehabilitation clinics and geriatrics clinics of 11 general hospitals nationwide from July to October, 1999 were enrolled. We used Korean comprehensive geriatric assessment Tool to assess variables related to geriatric depression. Among them 203 patients who meet the analyzable data criteria and who had cognitive availability were selected for final analysis. The patients were labeled into depression and non-depression groups according to geriatric depression scale-short form(SGDS; by Sheikh and Yesavage, 1986) score. We compared differences of the variables associated with depression between two groups. For statistical analysis chi-square and logistic regression methods by SAS 8.1/PC were used.
Results : 120 patients (59.1 %) of total 203 patients were labeled depression. According to bi-variate analysis. factors associated with geriatric depression were lower education level. widowed state, low social support, low physical activity. poor nutritional status, poor self-related health, suffering three or more diseases, low ADLs score and cognitive impairment. According to multi-variate analysis. younger age(p=0.001), widowed state (p=0.001) and low social support (p=0.004) were statistically significant factors.
Conclusion : We concluded significant factors associated with geriatric depression were age. widowed state, and social support. More studies are required for comprehensive evaluation of other possible factors associated with geriatric depression.