Prevalence of depressive symptoms and its associated factors in older adults: a cross-sectional study in Kathmandu, Nepal

Rajani Simkhada, Sharada P. Wasti, Vijay S. GC, Andrew C.K. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Globally, depression is one of the most prevalent and burdensome conditions in olderadults. However, there are few population-based studies of depression in older adults in developingcountries. In this paper, we examine the prevalence of depressive symptoms and explore possiblecontributory risk factors in older adults living in Nepal. 

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in two semi-urban communities in Kathmandu,Nepal. Depression was assessed using the 15-item Geriatric Depression Scale in 303 participants, aged60 years and over. Multivariate logistic regression was then used to assess associations betweenpotential risk factors and depression. 

Results: More than half of the participants (n = 175, 60.6%) had significant depressivesymptomatology, with 27.7% having scores suggesting mild depression. Illiteracy (aOR = 2.01, 95% CI:1.08–3.75), physical immobility (aOR = 5.62, 95% CI: 1.76–17.99), the presence of physical healthproblems (aOR = 1.97, 95% CI: 1.03–3.77), not having any time spent with family members (aOR =3.55, 95% CI: 1.29–9.76) and not being considered in family decision-making (aOR = 4.02, 95% CI: 2.01–8.04) were significantly associated with depression in older adults. 

Conclusion: The prevalence of depression was significant in older adults. There are clear associationsof depression with demographic, social support and physical well-being factors in this population.Strategies that increase awareness in the community along with the health and social careinterventions are needed to address the likely drivers of depression in older adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)802-807
Number of pages6
JournalAging and Mental Health
Issue number6
Early online date10 Apr 2017
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jun 2018
Externally publishedYes


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