Late-Life Depressive Symptoms: An International Study
Objectives. Evaluate differences in depressive symptoms, compare sociodemographic and health-related variables associated with depressive symptoms and report level of impact of depressive symptoms on daily activities.
Methods. Cross-sectional study using a self-administered questionnaire and Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) diagnostic survey on 1115 patients aged 60–93 years who attended a primary care clinic in Korea, Russia or USA.
Results. At least mild depression (PHQ-9 score of ≥5) occurred in 28% of Koreans, 65% of Russian and 27% of US participants. Russians scored more depressed on all PHQ-9 items (P < 0.01) and more suicidal thoughts (P < 0.001), while Koreans had less feelings of worthlessness (P < 0.001). Depression predictors included poorer self-rated health [odds ratio (OR) 2.47, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.84–3.33, P < 0.0001], chronic diseases (OR 1.34, CI 1.21–1.48, P < 0.0001), female gender (OR 1.56, CI 1.15–2.12, P = 0.0046) and religious attendance (OR 0.88, CI 0.79–0.97, P = 0.0099) for all subjects. Being employed was protective in Korea (OR 0.41, CI 0.21–0.77, P = 0.0061) and being married (OR 0.42, CI 0.27–0.66, P = 0.0002) and of older age (OR 0.95, CI 0.93–0.98, P = 0.0006) protective in US participants. Vascular disease was associated with depressive symptoms in Russia (OR 3.47, CI 1.23–9.80, P = 0.0187). In regression analyses stratified by country for a given level of depressive symptoms, the Russian sample had less impact on daily activities (Russia R2 = 0.107 versus Korea R2 = 0.211 and US R2 = 0.419) P = 0.029.
Conclusions. Depressive symptoms were more common in Russia than in Korea and USA but had less impact on daily functioning. Cultural or environmental factors may account for this finding.
Jogerst, Gerald J.; Zheng, Shimin; Frolova, Elena V.; and Kim, Mee Young. 2012. Late-Life Depressive Symptoms: An International Study. Family Practice. Vol.29(4). 407-415. https://doi.org/10.1093/fampra/cmr116 ISSN: 0263-2136