J Korean Acad Psychiatr Ment Health Nurs.  2011 Dec;20(4):376-385. 10.12934/jkpmhn.2011.20.4.376.

Impact of Body Mass Index and Perceived Health Status on Depression in Elderly Women Living Alone in the Community

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Nursing, University of Ulsan, Korea.
  • 2Department of Nursing, Soonchunhyang University, Korea. yjson@sch.ac.kr

Abstract

PURPOSE
This study was done to identify the prevalence of depression and determine the relationship of body mass index and perceived health status to depression for elderly women who live alone in the community.
METHODS
A total of 175 adults aged over 60 participated in this cross-sectional descriptive study. Perceived heath status was measured using a self-report one-item questionnaire. Body mass index was calculated as weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. Depression was assessed using the Korean short version of the geriatric depression scale. Hierarchical linear regression was used to identify associations between variables.
RESULTS
Approximately 61.7% of elderly women who lived alone were depressed. The mean score for depression was 7.4 (SD 3.39). Hierarchical linear regression showed body mass index (beta=.25, p<.001) and perceived health status (beta=-.26, p<.001) were independently associated with depression adjusting for general characteristics. These two predictors accounted for 12% of the variance in depression.
CONCLUSION
These results suggest that obesity and perceived health status are risk factors for depression in elderly women living alone. Therefore, these factors should be considered when developing intervention program for elderly women with depression.

Keyword

Living arrangement; Women; Depression; Body mass index
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