APPRAISAL OF PSYCHOSOCIAL PROBLEMS IN GERIATRIC PERSONS OF A RURAL COMMUNITY
Ravi Shankar M.D. (PSM) and *Shikha Singh M.Sc. (Home Science)
Background: Ageing in society is now world wide phenomenon. In this country we had a tradition of respect for the aged, a tradition that is also prevalent in all ancient countries. Unfortunately that picture is no longer there and the wind of change is blowing in our country also. The new generation is running with hectic schedule and creating a gap between older generation and new generation. This gap is increasing and creating a wider spectrum of socio-psychological problem. Aim: To overview the demographic and cultural profile and depression status of elderly. Methods: Field survey method was used and samples of 240 individuals aged 60 years and above were selected. The sample was drawn from two service villages (Bariasanpur and Barai) of Rural Health Training Centre of the Department of Community Medicine, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi. Any individual who was in the age group of 60 years and above was regarded as a study subject. The study subjects were interviewed with the help of a pre- designed and pre- tested schedule which contained two components as information on demographic, cultural profile and attitude toward ageing in first part and in the second part was information about depression status of elderly with the help of Yesavage Geriatric Depression Scale. Results: Out of 240 aged persons interviewed, 134 (55.9%) were male. Majority (68.3%) of elderly individuals in the study were between 60-69years. With the increase in age the proportion of elderly decreased. It was observed that more than half (59.6%) of the study individuals were either dissatisfied or unhappy with the life and description of life variable is significantly associated with age group (2: 6.41, P< 0.01). The perception of ageing deteriorated from bad to worst with advancement of age. More than three fourth of individuals (81.6%) perceived their health as having deteriorated (mild to severe degree) More than half (55%) had normal sleep. The disturbance in the sleep increased gradually and steadily with increase in the age. Over two third of the female subjects were either not satisfied or unhappy with the status of their present life (2=6.73 p<0.01). Similarly higher proportion of the females also considered their health to have deteriorated. Sleep disturbance were also more common among females. No gender difference existed in the proportion of individuals perceiving ageing as bad or worse. Age, educational status and caste were significantly associated with percent prevalence of depression. Conclusion: Population of higher age (80 year and above), having no education and belongs lower socio strata are at high risk of depression.
Keywords: Psychosocial, Depression, Geriatric, Rural.
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