Indian Journal of Psychological Medicine
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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 360-364

Prevalence of Psycho-Social Problems Among Elderly in Urban Population of Mysore City, Karnataka, India

1 Department of Community Medicine, JSS Medical College, Mysore, Karnataka, India
2 Programme Associate, State Health Resource Center, Chhattisgarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Prashantha Bettappa
Department of Community Medicine, JSS Medical College, Mysore, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0253-7176.108221

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Background: The reduction in fertility level, reinforced by steady increase in the life expectancy has produced fundamental changes in the age structure of the population, which in turn leads to the aging population. Objectives: To know the psycho-social problems of the elderly in urban population of Mysore; to determine the extent of functional impairment among the elderly and to know the psychological distress of the elderly using GHQ score. Materials and Methods: This community-based cross-sectional study was carried out at the field practice area of Urban Health Center , JSS Medical College, Mysore . The study population comprises of all geriatric population aged 60 years or above who were residing in the study area for atleast one year. 526 study subjects were recruited for the study. Data collection was done from May 2011 to December 2011 using a preformed semi-structured schedule. Data was entered into Microsoft Excel and statistical analysis is carried out using SPSS-17 version. Results: 162 out of 207 elderly men (78.3%) were more functional than 240 out of 319 aged women (75.2%). Severe functional impairment was almost same in both gender (4%) while moderate imparement was noted slightly more among aged women. The functional score was significantly higher for young old, for literates, for middle class and for employed. Anxiety and insomnia were found in 3.4% of the aged (males 2.4% and females 4.1%) followed by somatic symptoms 2.9%, social dysfunction 1.5% and severe depression 1.1%. All psychological distress were found more among elderly women. The prevalence of mental illnesses were found to be significantly higher for age more than 75 years. Conclusions: Awareness among the elderly population should be created for regular medical check-ups to ensure prevention and early detection of the chronic diseases. There is a need to have geriatric wards having specialized professionals with psychiatric and medical social workers along with subsidized health care services.

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