J Korean Geriatr Psychiatry.  2015 Oct;19(2):86-90. 10.0000/jkgp.2015.19.2.86.

The Distribution of Depressive Symptoms among the Community-Dwelling Elderly

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Hallym University Sacred Heart Hospital, Hallym University College of Medicine, Anyang, Korea. winghong@hallym.or.kr
  • 2Public Health Center in Gunpo City, Gunpo, Korea.


This study was to understand the characteristics of depressive symptoms among the community-dwelling elderly.
Through a community mental health mass screening program in senior society, 197 elderly were evaluated for depressive symptoms with Korean version of Short form Geriatric Depression Scale (SGDS-K). The subjects were grouped into normal or caution groups with a cut-off score of 6. The response rate and odds ratio were calculated and compared within each question.
Although they had low total score, many subjects in normal group have the symptoms of the question 2, 13, 5, 10, 7, 4 (in order). Question 12, 6, 8, 4, 14, 3 (in order) showed higher odds ratio in caution group than normal group. Questions belonged to a factor 'general depressive mood' scored much higher odds ratio than the other.
Even the elderly with low score in SGDS-K might complain of symptoms such as decreased level of energy, activities, interests, and memory. However the subjects with high score tend to report feeling more worthless, afraid, helpless, bored, hopeless, and empty. It can be helpful to know the distribution of depressive symptoms for providing careful mental health service to the elderly dwelling in the communities.


Depression; Geriatric psychiatry; Community Mental Health Centers; Psychiatric status rating scales
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