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A prospective observational study on incidence and severity of depression in geriatric patients in old age homes and care centers in Bangalore

Rebecca Elizabeth Chacko, Aswathy Padmakumar, Alana Thomas, Dr Balakeshwa Ramaiah


Depression often goes unnoticed and is misdiagnosed in the elderly, due to the somatic symptoms of old age. Using the Geriatric Depression Scale, steps can be taken to identify and assess depression in old-age homes. Risk factors associated are gender, family support, stay duration, marital status, etc. Timely diagnosis can lead to a better quality of life.


The objectives of our study are to identify the incidence and severity of depression in geriatric patients in old age homes/care centers using the Geriatric Depression Scale. The methodology was focused on preparing a questionnaire and evaluating using GDS, after which the data was compiled and the results were interpreted, discussed, and represented using statistical graphical analysis.


The study included 200 subjects. The incidence and severity of depression were assessed and 116 (58%) of the total population was observed to be depressed. The severely depressed subjects were mostly in the age category of 61–70 years. Separation from spouses (separated, unmarried, widowed, and divorced respectively) was seen as a major risk factor. 70.69% were severely depressed with a stay duration of up to 8.4 years. 78 (67.24%) of the severely depressed received no financial or emotional support.


In conclusion, it was found that the majority of the geriatric population were severely depressed with increasing age, male gender, loss or lack of spousal support, lack of social interactions, and longer stay durations as risk factors. The Geriatric Depression Scale can be used as an effective scale for the assessment of depression in the elderly.


Depression, Geriatric Depression Scale, Risk factors, old age homes, Caregivers


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