Asia Pacific Family Medicine
Blackwell Science, LtdOxford, UKAFMAsia Pacific Family Medicine1444-1683© 2003 Blackwell Publishing Asia Pty LtdDecember 200324
196199Original ArticleDepression among the elderly in a rural community MS Sherina
Correspondence: Sherina Mohd Sidik, Lecturer, Unit of
Family Medicine, Department of Community Health, Faculty
of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia,
43400 Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia.
Accepted for publication 21 May 2003.
Prevalence of depression with
chronic illness among the elderly in a rural
community in Malaysia
Sherina MOHD SIDIK, Nor Afiah MOHD ZULKEFLI and A. MUSTAQIM
Department of Community Health, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia
Depression is the most common psychiatric disorder among the elderly. The hallmark
of depression in the elderly is its comorbidity with medical illness.
To determine the prevalence of depression and its association with chronic illness among the
elderly in a rural community setting.
A cross sectional study design was used. A 30-item Geriatric Depression Scale questionnaire
was used as a screening instrument.
The prevalence of depression was higher among elderly with chronic illness (9.0%) com-
pared to elderly without chronic illness (5.6%). Depression among the elderly was significantly asso-
ciated with ischemic heart disease.
The prevalence of depression among the elderly with chronic illness in the community
is high. Primary care providers need to be vigilant when treating elderly patients in their care as depres-
sion is commonly found in this group.
2003 Blackwell Publishing Asia and Wonca
chronic illness, depression, elderly, prevalence, rural community.
Depression is an affec