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Community study of depression in old age in Taiwan: Prevalence, life events and socio-demographic correlates

  • Mian-Yoon Chong (a1), Chwen-Cheng Chen (a2), Hin-Yeung Tsang (a1), Tzung-Lieh Yeh (a2), Cheng-Sheng Chen (a1), Yi-Hui Lee (a2), Tze-Chun Tang (a1) and Hsin-Yi Lo (a2)...
Abstract
Background

Published studies of prevalence of depression in old age in Taiwan have yielded equivocal results.

Aims

To study the prevalence of depressive disorders among community-dwelling elderly; further, to assess socio-demographic correlates and life events in relation to depression.

Method

A randomised sample of 1500 subjects aged 65 and over was selected from three communities. Research psychiatrists conducted all assessments using the Geriatric Mental State Schedule. The diagnosis of depression was made with the GMS–AGECAT (Automated Geriatric Examination for Computerised Assisted Taxonomy); data on life events were collected with the Taiwanese version of the Life Events and Difficulties Schedule.

Results

One-month prevalence of psychiatric disorders was 37.7%, with 15.3% depressive neurosis and 5.9% major depression. A high risk of depressive disorders was found among widows with a low educational level living in the urban community, and among those with physical illnesses.

Conclusions

Contrary to most previous reports, we found that the prevalence of depressive disorders among the elderly in the community in Taiwan is high and comparable to rates reported in some studies of UK samples.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Dr Mian-Yoon Chong, Associate Professor and Director, Department of Psychiatry, Kaohsiung Medical University, 100 Shih-Chuan First Road, Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan. Tel: 886 7 3208219; fax: 886 7 3112492; e-mail: mchong@cc.kmu.edu.tw
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Declaration of interest

The National Health Research Institute of Taiwan funded this project.

Footnotes
References
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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
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Community study of depression in old age in Taiwan: Prevalence, life events and socio-demographic correlates

  • Mian-Yoon Chong (a1), Chwen-Cheng Chen (a2), Hin-Yeung Tsang (a1), Tzung-Lieh Yeh (a2), Cheng-Sheng Chen (a1), Yi-Hui Lee (a2), Tze-Chun Tang (a1) and Hsin-Yi Lo (a2)...
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