Depression and social support between China' rural and urban empty-nest elderly.
ABSTRACT This study compared levels of depression and social support among empty-nest elderly who living in the rural and urban area of Hunan province, China. This cross-sectional study enrolled 809 empty-nest elderly living throughout the province as the study respondents. The general information, depression conditions and social supports were investigated by using the self-made General Information Questionnaire, Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS) and Social Support Rating Scale (SSRS). Variables are presented as mean±standard deviation (SD) or frequency. Independent t-test and χ(2)-tests were used to compare the socio-demographic factors, depression score and social support scores of the rural empty-nest elderly to the urban empty-nest ones; multilevel modeling was used to analyze the socio-demographic factors and social support predicted the level of depression among the empty-nest old subjects. The differences in gender, education level, marital status, economic status, self-perceived income, insurance, children visit frequency and religious beliefs factors between rural and urban empty-nester old people were statistically significant (p<0.05). The average GDS score of rural group was (14.57±5.43), which was higher than the average GDS score (13.18±6.51) of urban group (p<0.01). Objective support scores showed statistical significance between the rural and urban empty-nest elderly (p<0.05). There are differences between rural and urban empty-nest elderly in the aspects of general data, depression status, social support and so on, we should intervene them effectively according to their different characteristics.
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The number of elderly individuals living alone is rising, especially in rural areas of China, and their health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is an increasing public health concern. However, little is known about factors that influence HRQoL and the need for long-term care services. The aim of the study was to identify these factors and the long-term care requirements of persons aged 60 and older living alone in rural areas of Shaanxi Province, China. METHODS: The study included 424 older subjects, selected by stratified random sampling. Logistic regression adjusted for age was conducted to analyze factors influencing HRQoL and the need for long-term care services. Pearson correlative analysis was conducted to assess the correlation between HRQoL score and long-term care needs. RESULTS: HRQoL among elderly subjects living alone declined with age in both males and females. The main diseases influencing HRQoL among the elderly were hypertension, cardiac disease, chronic bronchitis, neurological disease and cancer. Cataract disease was the most important factor related to HRQoL. This was followed by long-term care needs, living conditions, economic status, Cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis and age. Factors affecting long-term care needs were economic status, education level, alcohol intake, living conditions, general health and age. HRQoL and long-term care needs among this elderly population were significantly correlated (r=-0.204, p<0.01). CONCLUSIONS: For elderly persons living alone, factors such as chronic disease, lower income level and living in a rural area may limit their ability to form social relationships. Reducing the level of loneliness, with better care and support, may be helpful in improving their HRQoL. There is a need for an overall improvement in the planning, provision and financing of long-term care and psychogeriatric services for elderly individuals living alone in China.BMC Public Health 04/2013; 13(1):313. · 2.08 Impact Factor