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

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Objective: Globally, depression is one of the most prevalent and burdensome conditions in older adults. However, there are few population-based studies of depression in older adults in developing countries. In this paper, we examine the prevalence of depressive symptoms and explore possible contributory 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, aged 60 years and over. Multivariate logistic regression was then used to assess associations between potential risk factors and depression.

Results: More than half of the participants (n = 175, 60.6%) had significant depressive symptomatology, 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 health problems (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 associations of 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 care interventions are needed to address the likely drivers of depression in older adults.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)802-807
JournalAging & Mental Health
Issue number6
Early online date10 Apr 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Depression
  • GDS-15
  • older adults
  • community
  • Nepal

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