J Korean Geriatr Psychiatry.  2017 Oct;21(2):59-66. 10.0000/jkgp.2017.21.2.59.

Mental Health Evaluation for Elderly in Community, Pilot Study

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Busan Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea. gabriel.jdu@gmail.com
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, Changsan Convalescent Hospital, Changwon, Korea.
  • 3Department of Psychiatry, Dona-A University Hospital, Busan, Korea.
  • 4Department of Psychiatry, Sharing and Happiness Hospital, Busan, Korea.


With the burgeoning elderly population, mental health among the elderly has surfaced as an important medical, social, and economic issue. This study was a pilot study testing the assessment module that was developed to survey mental health among the elderly living in the city of Busan.
Basic demographic data and mental health problems were investigated using the General Health Questionnaire-12 (GHQ-12), suicide risk screening tool, subjective memory deterioration scale, sleep disorder and sleep pattern scale, health-related quality of life scale (EuroQoL-5 dimension), and alcohol abuse screening tool (Cut down, Annoyed, Guilty, Eye-opener Questionnaire).
Four-hundred adults aged 65 years or older living in either of two districts in the Busan metropolitan city participated in the study, of whom 219 (54.8%) were female. About 26.8% of the participants were obese, while 2.3% were underweight. One hundred and twenty-five (31.3%) participants were in need of attention to or improvement of nutrition management, and 19.1% perceived themselves to be in poor health. In the GHQ-12, 68.8% were in psychological distress (≥2). About 49.8% of the participants had insomnia, 61.8% had subjective memory disturbance, and 6% were at risk of suicide. The GHQ-12 score, proportion of participants with sleep disturbance, and subjective memory deterioration was significantly higher among women than in men, while health-related quality of life was higher in men.
A considerable number of older adults living in the Busan region were suffering from psychological stress, were in need of nutrition management, had low quality of life, and had poor mental health, and women were particularly more vulnerable.


Aged; Mental health; Memory; Quality of life; Sleep; Suicide
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