Anxiety disorders and its risk factors among the Sichuan empty-nest older adults: A cross-sectional study

Department of Geriatrics, The West China Hospital of Sichuan University, Guoxuexiang 37, (610041) Chengdu, Sichuan, China
Archives of gerontology and geriatrics (Impact Factor: 1.85). 09/2012; 56(2). DOI: 10.1016/j.archger.2012.08.016
Source: PubMed


The goal of this study was to determine the prevalence and correlates of anxiety disorders among empty-nest older adults in Sichuan Province, China.

The study population consisted of 352 subjects over the age of 60 who completed the Self-Rating Anxiety Scale (SAS), the Geriatric Depression Scale-Short Form (GDS-SF), the University of California, Los Angeles, Loneliness Scale (UCLA-LS), and the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) questionnaires. The socio-demographic information, information on the subjects' general health, and their level of concern about health problems were obtained from self-reports.

In the study population, 30.11% of the empty-nest older adults showed anxiety-related symptoms or anxiety disorders, with a standardized score of 44.53 ± 11.01. The levels of anxiety were significantly different in terms of the patients' gender, educational level, occupation, residence, marital status, and income, but not in terms of their age. Patient anxiety had a significantly positive association with depression and loneliness but had a significantly negative association with the MMSE scores. Multiple regression analysis revealed that patients with depression, loneliness, and cognitive impairment, as well as patients who were female, living in rural areas, or living alone were at risk for anxiety disorders.

Anxiety prevails among the empty-nest older adults in Sichuan Province and is mainly associated with health-related characteristics. Physicians should give special attention to older adults with depression, loneliness, and cognitive impairments, especially to women who live alone in rural areas.

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    • "Because another study indicates that the GAI and Geriatric Anxiety Scale may be good alternatives to anxiety measures not designed specifically for older adults[17]. Complementally, this study suggests anxiety may come from internal motivation besides shame[18]and empty-nest living arrangement[19]. Thus, upgrade of life attitude may reduce the harm from anxiety prevalence among old population in China. "
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    ABSTRACT: As China’s population ages, the mental health of older people has been increasingly focused on by academic circles. The aim of this study was to identify the factor structure of the Chinese version of the geriatric anxiety inventory (GAI-CV). This study used data collected from Investigation on the anxiety symptoms of the elderly in the city of Beijing supported by scientific research fund project of Renmin University of China. Cronbach’s α was used to test internal consistency reliability. Both confirmatory and exploratory factor analyses were performed separately for factor analysis. 1318 subjects with mean age 71.35 ± 7.44 years (male 40.6 %) were involved. Principal components analysis revealed a three-factor structure of the GAI-CV. GAI-CV scales exhibited good internal consistency (Cronbach’s α = 0.937) and a three-factor model fit the data well [comparative fit index (CFI) = 0.891, root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) = 0.084]. The Chinese version of the GAI appears to be reliable and valid to measure anxiety for elderly people in China.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2016 · Annals of General Psychiatry
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    • "Previous studies showed that empty nest elders were more likely to report loneness (Liu and Guo, 2007), anxiety disorder (Wang et al., 2013), low health-related quality of life (Liu and Guo, 2007), and poor social relationship (Wu et al., 2010), all of which were positively associated with depression. Thus, we assume that empty nest elders might be more vulnerable to depressive symptom. "
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    ABSTRACT: Empty nest has been becoming the main family pattern among old people, and influencing the traditional family providing for the aged in China. This study aimed to investigate the association of empty nest with depressive symptom in a Chinese elderly population. Our study was based on the baseline investigation of Zhejiang Major Public Health Surveillance which was conducted in 2014. The final analyzed sample consisted of 9215 participants aged no less than 60 years. Subjects completed a questionnaire including demographic characteristics, living arrangements, behavioral risk factors, health status, subjective assessments, and Patient Health Questionnaire-9 scale. More than half of the participants were empty nest elders (57.4%). The overall prevalence of depressive symptom was 10.3%, while it was higher in empty nest group than in non-empty nest group (11.6% vs. 8.6%, P<0.001). A positive association was found between empty nest and depressive symptom, the OR (95%CI) was 1.223(1.045, 1.431). After stratified by gender/age/education level/employment status, this association was just prominent in participants of male, 70 years old and above, primary school education, and retirees. No matter living with spouse or living alone, empty nesters were more likely to have depressive symptoms than non-empty nesters. Cross-sectional study could not make a causation conclusion. The social supports of participants were not been investigated in detail. Empty nest elders, especially those who are male, 70 years old and above, primary school education, and retired, are more vulnerable to depressive symptom. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2015 · Journal of Affective Disorders
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    • "A geriatric depression scale was applied to investigate the empty-nest elderly in Hunan and found that the average score of the rural group is higher than that of the urban group, indicating a worse situation [18]. 30.11% of the empty-nest elderly in rural Sichuan showed anxiety-related symptoms of anxiety disorders and that depression [19]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Along with rapid economic development, the aging process in China is gradually accelerating. The living conditions of empty-nest rural elderly are worrisome. As a more vulnerable group, empty-nest elderly are facing more urgent health problems. This study explores the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of empty-nest elderly in rural China and aims to arouse more social concern for their HRQOL. Research subjects were empty-nest rural elderly from three cities: Nanjing, Suzhou, and Wenzhou (ages >= 60, n = 967). This study used the five-dimensional European quality of health scale (EQ-5D) and the 12-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-12) to measure the HRQOL of the respondents. Spearman correlation coefficient, stereotype logistic regression, ordered probit regression and multinomial logistic regression, and Structural equation model (SEM) methods are employed to study the relationship. (1) The Spearman correlation coefficient shows that the correlations of similar domains between the SF-12 and the EQ-5D scales are relatively strong. (2) Men's scores are higher than that of women's in general health (GH) and anxiety/depression (AD) models. (3) The scores of physical component summary (PCS), physical functioning (PF), mental health (MH), and usual activities (UA) decline with age. (4) Apart from PCS, vitality (VT), and role-emotional (RE) as dependent variables, the education passes all the significance tests. The higher the education is, the higher the scores of physical or psychological health are. (5) The scores of PCS and bodily pain (BP) of empty-nest elderly are divorced or higher in other marital status. (6) In SEM analysis, the effect of basic information of empty-nest elderly on SF-12 scale is more significant. First, the frequency histograms of EQ-5D show that the scores of empty-nest elderly in rural China are generally low. Second, in all SF-12 items, the HRQOL is low. Third, men's scores are higher than that of women's. The elderly with higher education reported higher scores than those with lower education. Fourth, the effect of socio-demographic variables of the rural Chinese empty-nest elderly on SF-12 scores is more significant, whereas the effect on EQ-5D scores is less significant.
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