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Prevalence and predictors of depression among the elderly in selected rural communities in Delta State, Nigeria

N.S. Awunor
M.I. Ntaji
E.W. Edafiadhe
P.O. Erhabor
A.O. Eferakorho
B. Ijirigho
A.O. Owe
O.P Adu
O.O. Enaohwo
S. Umukoro
B. Ose-Efetie


Background: Geriatric depression is sometimes unrecognized by clinicians and often, depressive symptoms are attributed to the ageing process. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence and predictors of depression in the elderly in selected rural communities in Delta State, Nigeria.
Methods: This descriptive, cross sectional study was carried out in three rural communities in Ukwuani LGA, in Delta State Nigeria. The study population comprised 600 elderly, 60 years and above, selected using a multi stage sampling technique living within households in the communities. Data was collected by a structured interviewer-administered questionnaire which included the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS). Data was analysed using the IBM SPSS version 21 and statistical association was considered significant at p<0.05.
Results: The mean (SD) age of respondents was 68.3 (7.1) years [median age= 67.0 years]. Data showed a prevalence of depression of 268 (44.7%). Being older than 70 years (p=0.006) and having a little or no formal education (p<0.001) was associated with depression in the elderly. However, logistic regression showed that educational status was the only significant predictor of depression in the elderly in this survey OR (95% CI) = 0.633 (0.516-0.776), p<0.001.
Conclusion: The prevalence of depression in the study population was significantly associated with a lack of formal education among respondents. Improving universal basic education coverage and providing employment opportunities will thus reduce the burden of depression among the elderly in the upcoming generation.


Keywords: Prevalence; Predictors; Depression; Elderly; Delta State

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eISSN: 1115-4608
print ISSN: 0794-7410