American Journal of Applied Sciences

THE PREVALENCE OF DEPRESSION AND ITS RISK FACTORS AMONG MALAY ELDERLY IN RESIDENTIAL CARE

R. Normala, C. Azlini, M. J. Nurul Jannah and Z. M. Lukman

DOI : 10.3844/ajassp.2014.1456.1462

American Journal of Applied Sciences

Volume 11, Issue 9

Pages 1456-1462

Abstract

The motivation for the study is to improve the quality of life for elderly in residential care particularly the mental health aspect. Hence, the aim of this study is to examine the prevalence of depression and to identify risk factors related to depression among Malay elderly in residential care. Changes in social structure and economic status have shifted the direction of care for elderly people, as the value of filial piety has gradually declined among the modern Malays. The researchers hypothesized that the level of depression among institutionalized Malay elderly people is high. Altogether, 98 of Malay elderly (men 41.8%, women 58.2%) participated in this study from eight residential cares in Peninsular Malaysia. They were chosen according to the following criteria: Malay ethnic, aged 60 years and above, able to communicate and with no severe mental and/or physical health problem. The Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS-30) was used to assess depression among the elderly. Overall, the study found that 70.4% of the Malay elderly in the residential care were diagnosed with depression, where 39.8% had mild depression and 30.6% were suffered from major depression. Five factors were identified as the high risk factors of depression among the Malay elderly i.e., sadness, helplessness, isolation, loneliness and loss of interest in activities (76.8-86.9%). As a conclusion, the prevalence of depression among the Malay elderly in the present study is high. Besides arranging a regular program on screening for depression, it is also important for the residential care providers to create and organize special activities for the elderly in order to reduce them from the risk factors of depression. They should be ensured to have a healthier and happier life at the institutions, if the residential care providers would like to increase the elderly mental health status.

Copyright

© 2014 R. Normala, C. Azlini, M. J. Nurul Jannah and Z. M. Lukman. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.