J Korean Acad Nurs.  2013 Feb;43(1):1-10. 10.4040/jkan.2013.43.1.1.

Analysis of the Characteristics of the Older Adults with Depression Using Data Mining Decision Tree Analysis

  • 1College of Nursing, Chungnam National University, Daejeon, Korea. mhpark@cnu.ac.kr
  • 2Kyungpook National University Medical Center, Chilgok-gun, Gyeongbuk, Korea.
  • 3Department of Public Administration, Cheongju University, Chungbuk, Korea.


The purpose of this study was to develop a prediction model for the characteristics of older adults with depression using the decision tree method.
A large dataset from the 2008 Korean Elderly Survey was used and data of 14,970 elderly people were analyzed. Target variable was depression and 53 input variables were general characteristics, family & social relationship, economic status, health status, health behavior, functional status, leisure & social activity, quality of life, and living environment. Data were analyzed by decision tree analysis, a data mining technique using SPSS Window 19.0 and Clementine 12.0 programs.
The decision trees were classified into five different rules to define the characteristics of older adults with depression. Classification & Regression Tree (C&RT) showed the best prediction with an accuracy of 80.81% among data mining models. Factors in the rules were life satisfaction, nutritional status, daily activity difficulty due to pain, functional limitation for basic or instrumental daily activities, number of chronic diseases and daily activity difficulty due to disease.
The different rules classified by the decision tree model in this study should contribute as baseline data for discovering informative knowledge and developing interventions tailored to these individual characteristics.


Data mining; Decision trees; Depression; Aged

MeSH Terms

Activities of Daily Living
Aged, 80 and over
Chronic Disease
Data Mining
Decision Trees
Health Behavior
Health Status
Leisure Activities
Middle Aged
Quality of Life
Socioeconomic Factors


  • Figure 1 Process of data mining.

  • Figure 2 Input variables.

  • Figure 3 Decision tree of C&RT model.

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