Mood Emot.  2019 Nov;17(3):80-88. 10.35986/me.2019.17.3.80.

Association of Mental Health Status with Suicidal Ideation among the Community-Dwelling Elderly

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Naju National Hospital, Naju, Korea.
  • 2JeollaNamdo Mental Health and Welfare Center, Naju, Korea.


This study examined how mental health status influenced suicidal ideation among community-dwelling elderly at senior citizen centers in Korea.
Data were obtained from a survey on elderly mental health in Jeollanam-do (a southwest province in Korea) conducted by the Jeollanam-do Provincial Mental Health and Welfare Center. In total, 4,113 people were recruited from all 22 cities in Jeollanam-do. We evaluated sociodemographic factors and mental health status using self-reported questionnaires, namely, the Suicidal Ideation Scale, Geriatric Depression Scale-Short Form Korean Version, Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support, Korean version of the General Health Questionale-12, and Satisfaction with Life Scale, to assess psychosocial factors affecting suicidal ideation. Multivariate logistic regression was performed to examine the factors associated with suicidal ideation.
Among the 4,113 subjects, 325 (7.9%) reported recent suicidal ideation. Multivariate logistic regression analysis revealed that depression (p<0.001), low-level social support and life satisfaction (p=0.006), poor general mental health (p<0.001), physical disease (p=0.009), and poor self-perceived health status (p=0.039) were significantly associated with suicidal ideation.
The presence of physical disease, poor self-perceived health status, depression, and poor general mental health conditions increase the risk of suicide ideation among the elderly. Social support and life satisfaction affected their suicidal ideation independently of depression.


Suicidal ideation; Depression; Mental health; Elderly
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