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Research Papers

Undiagnosed depression among older adults living in a semi urban community in Southern Sri Lanka

Authors:

C. Senadheera ,

University of Ruhuna, Galle, LK
About C.
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine
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K. D. Pathirana,

University of Ruhuna, Galle, LK
About K. D.
Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine
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K. M. S. A. K. Jayasekara,

University of Ruhuna, Galle, LK
About K. M. S. A. K.
Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine
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M. L. K. De Silva,

University of Ruhuna, Galle, LK
About M. L. K.
Faculty of Medicine
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C. K. L. Dharmappriya

University of Ruhuna, Galle, LK
About C. K. L.
Faculty of Medicine
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Abstract

Introduction: Depression is common in late life. Sri Lankan studies on depression in community living elderly are scarce. A sample of community living older people was assessed for presence of depressive symptoms.

 

Methods: Randomly selected 300 people aged above 50 years from Bope-Poddala MOH area who were not diagnosed with neurological illness, major psychiatric illness and not having severe visual or hearing impairment were screened using Geriatric Depression Scale-Sinhala version (GDS-S). Medical records were examined and diagnoses of non-communicable diseases were recorded;

 

Results: The majority were females (n=183, 61%). The mean age was 62 (SD=8) years. Twenty nine percent of subjects were still working. Thirty six percent (males - 40% and females - 36%) had sought medical treatment for non-communicable diseases. Twenty five participants (10% of males, 7.% of females) met criteria for depression (GDS-S score >= 6). Nine percent of those who were aged 50-64 years and 7.4% of those who were older than 64 years were found to have depressive symptoms.

 

Conclusions: One in 12 older adult showing depressive symptoms signals the need of professional attention to the mental health well-being of older adults. As one in three of these people already attend health care services for their medical problems, these services can provide assessment of depression to make appropriate referrals/ interventions.
How to Cite: Senadheera, C. et al., (2017). Undiagnosed depression among older adults living in a semi urban community in Southern Sri Lanka. Galle Medical Journal. 22(2), pp.1–5. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/gmj.v22i2.7967
Published on 11 Dec 2017.
Peer Reviewed

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