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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 165

Prevalence of mental illness and their association with sociodemographic factors in the rural geriatric population in Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh, India: A community-based study

Department of Community Medicine, Apollo Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Surendra Babu Darivemula
Department of Community Medicine, Apollo Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Flat 704-NT, Murukambattu, Chittoor - 517 127, Andhra Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jehp.jehp_193_18

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BACKGROUND: Mental health problems such as cognitive impairment, depression, anxiety, and sleep disorders arising out of senility, neurosis, and living conditions are common in the geriatric population. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence of mental illness and to describe their sociodemographic factors in the rural geriatric population and see their association with other factors. METHODOLOGY: A community-based cross-sectional study was done on individuals aged more than 60 years. The study instruments were predesigned semi-structured questionnaire, Folstein's Mini–Mental Status Examination Scale for assessing dementia in cognitive functioning and Yesavages Geriatric Depression Scale to estimate the prevalence of depression and to assess the activities of the daily living by Barthel index and the anxiety were assessed based on the perception of the participants while conducting the interview. RESULTS: A total of 415 individuals participated, out of them 199 (47.9%) were males and 216 (52.1%) were females. Prevalence of mental illness was 217 (52.2%) with one or the other type of mental illness. The prevalence of cognitive impairment was 47.7% and depression according to Geriatric Depression Scale >5 was 27.7%. The remaining 62 (14.9%) had dementia and 30 (7.2%) had anxiety disorder as the mental illness. The socio-demographic factors such as age more than 70 years, female gender, illiterates, living in joint family, middle and lower socio-economic class, financially totally dependent and had poor and unfair relationship with the family members were strongly associated with the mental illness and it was statistically significant with P < 0.05. CONCLUSION: Measures should be taken to support the elders, establish community elderly societies, advisory offices, and services to help the elderly. The sequence of social interventions required for the management of the elderly psychological problems.

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