Prevalence and correlates of depressive symptoms among community-dwelling elderly in southern Taiwan

S. Y. Lyu, Tzou-Yien Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: Depression is recognized as one of the major mental health problems among the elderly. The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence and correlates of depressive symptoms among community-dwelling elderly in southern Taiwan. Methods: This study involved selecting subjects from a group of elderly who participated in a long-term care survey (N = 1221) in 1994. In total, 210 subjects (n 1 = n 2 = 105) were recruited according to their mental health status. Data for this study were collected by face-to-face interviews between January and March 1995. The symptoms of depression were measured by the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D). Results: The mean score of the CES-D was 13.21 with a standard deviation 10.74. Using a cut-off point of greater than or equal to 16 on the CES-D score yielded a depression rate of 39.6% for women and 22.0% for men, with an overall depression rate in this study population of 31.3%. The prevalence of depressive symptoms was 23.0% from the group with 'good' mental health status, and 65.3% from those with 'poor' mental health status. Results of the logistic regression analysis showed that age, gender, prior mental health status, physical health status, and family support were significant correlates for depressive symptoms. Conclusions: This study confirmed that demographic factors, social factors, and physical health were correlated with depression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-60
Number of pages11
JournalChinese Journal of Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2000



  • Depressive symptoms
  • Family support
  • The elderly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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