J Korean Geriatr Psychiatry.  1999 Dec;3(2):157-164.

Comparison Study of Quality of Life in Depressed, Demented and Normal Elderly

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Hallym University, Chunchon, Korea.
  • 2Community Mental Health Center, Asan City, Korea.


The elderly people are often afflicted with chronic illnesses of which depression and dementia comprise substantial proportion. The authors tried to figure out the impact of depression and dementia on the quality of life of elderly. 1,300 community residents over 65 years of age were selected by random sampling. Using Geriatric Mental State-Automated Geriatric Examination for Computer Assisted Taxonomy, the authors selected 3 groups of subjects, namely dementia group (N=113), depression group (N=157), normal control group (N=289). The 3 groups of subjects were examined with General Health Questionnaire 12-Quality of Life, Geriatric Depression Scale, Mini-Mental State Exam-K, and Physical Self-Maintenance Scale. The results were compared between groups and the correlations of each scales were examined. The quality of life was lower in the older, female, lower educational groups. The quality of life was significantly lower in dementia group and depression group than in normal elderly group. The subjective quality of life of depressed elderly got lower with increasing severity of depression. Demented elderly had low quality of life but no correlation was found between subjective quality of life and severity of depression. The score of Mini-Mental State Exam-K was found to have significant correlation with the quality of life in demented group. The quality of life of normal elderly and those with dementia had significant correlation with Physical Self-Maintenance Scale. Conclusively, the quality of life was decreased in both normal elderly group and dementia group. The severity of depressive symptoms were correlated with the decrease of quality of life in depression group, whereas the degree of cognitive impairment had significant correlation with quality of life in dementia group. Therefore, the subjective quality of life must be considered in the treatment of the depression and dementia, and further study about the relation between psychopathology and the various aspects of living and the quality of life in the elderly is needed.


Quality of life; Depression; Dementia; Elderly
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