Relationship Between Elderly Depression and Health Status in Male Veterans

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Abstract

Background:

Elderly depression affects the overall health and quality of life of institutionalized men.

Purpose:

This study explored the relationship between depression and health status in institutionalized male veterans in Taiwan.

Methods:

This survey study used a cross-sectional research design and recruited 152 elderly male residents of a veterans’ home in northern Taiwan. A validated questionnaire assessed depression, health status, and demographic characteristics.

Results:

More than one fifth of the subjects (21.7%) exhibited depression. Those with poor general health status (odds ratio [OR] = 7.9, p < .001), relatively high levels of dependence on others for daily physical activities (OR = 4.6, p = .002), or self-perceived negative influences of chronic diseases on daily living (OR = 11.7, p < .001) faced the highest prevalence of depression. Subjects with hypertension (OR = 2.3, p = .034), cataracts (OR = 3.7, p = .007), or liver disease (OR = 8.1, p = .006) had the highest prevalence of depression. Identified risk factors of depression among the elderly male veterans included self-perceived negative influence of chronic diseases on daily living (adjusted OR = 10.2, p < .001) and cataracts (adjusted OR = 4.3, p = .023).

Conclusions/Implications for Practice:

Geriatrician nurses should develop strategies to maintain general patient health and reduce the negative impact of chronic diseases and cataracts on daily life to reduce depression in institutionalized male veterans.

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