Author ORCID Identifier

https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3448-8270

Date of Award

Spring 5-17-2019

Degree Type

Thesis

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Richard Rothenberg

Second Advisor

Dr. Kim Ramsey-White

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Geriatric depression affects millions of aging adults aged 65 and older every year and is not a normal part of aging. Relationship with family members and living arrangements are among independent predictors for geriatric depression (Venkatachalam et al., 2018). Elderly suffering from depression have higher in-patient health care costs than non-depressed elderly patients (Katon, 2003). To improve quality of life among the rapidly expanding aging population and alleviate health care costs through the development of cost-effective prevention methods, further understanding of predictors for geriatric depression is needed.

AIM: To examine the effect of living arrangement and intergenerational relationships on depression prevalence among elderly home health and hospice patients.

METHODS: A cross sectional study was performed using data from the 2007 National Home and Hospice Care Survey. Logistic regression analysis was conducted to examine the association between the independent variables of interest and depression in elderly home health and hospice patients.

RESULTS: Living with others was determined to be a protective factor against depression in elderly home health and hospice patients. Those who lived alone reported 1.9 times the adjusted odds of having depression than those who lived with others. Participants who had a non-family member caregiver had greater depression prevalence than those who had a family member caregiver. This study did not find that intergenerational relationships were a protective factor against depression in elderly home health and hospice patients.

DISCUSSION: Due to the increased odds of depression in elderly who live alone versus those who live with others, it may be beneficial to further explore low-cost preventative and treatment measures that involve greater interaction with others such as weekly classes and group events. Additionally, it should be stressed to both health care providers and adults age 65 and older that depression is not a normal part of aging.

Available for download on Wednesday, October 23, 2019

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