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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 22-28

A study of risk factors associated with depression in medically ill elderly patients

1 Department of Psychiatry, NKP Salve Institute of Medical Sciences and Lata Mangeshkar Hospital, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Psychiatry, B.Y.L. Nair Hospital and T.N. Medical College, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
3 Department of Psychiatry, MGM Medical College, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Deepika Singh
Department of Psychiatry (OPD-10), 2nd Floor, OPD Building, NKP Salve Institute of Medical Sciences and Lata Mangeshkar Hospital, Hingna Road, Nagpur - 440 019, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aip.aip_9_17

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Background: Medically ill elderly patients are more prone to develop depression. Stressful life events which the patient experiences as well as the absence of perceived social support all act as risk factors for developing depression. Moreover, if the coping mechanisms are faulty the risk of developing depression increases. Aim: This study was conducted to assess the prevalence of depression in medically ill elderly patients and the risk factors associated with faulty coping mechanisms, perceived social support, and stressful life events. Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study conducted at a tertiary care hospital, wherein 100 patients fulfilling the inclusion and exclusion criteria were chosen. Patients were administered a semi-structured questionnaire to obtain details about sociodemographic profile and diagnosed medical illnesses. Geriatric Depression Scale, Coping Inventory for Stressful Situations, Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support, and Presumptive Stressful Life Event Scale were used. Results: Prevalence of depression was 72% among the medically ill elderly patients. Depressed patients used more of emotion-oriented coping and less of task-oriented and avoidance coping mechanisms the perceived social support in the form of family and friends was significantly less in depressed patients. The more the number of stressful life events experienced by the patients the more depressed they were. Conclusion: Early identification of risk factors and early diagnosis of depression may help us in carrying out timely interventions and thus improve the quality of life of our patients.

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