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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 7  |  Page : 3532-3538

Why are our elderly distressed? A cross-sectional study in a rural community of West Bengal

1 Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
2 Department of Maternal and Child Health, All India Institute of Hygiene and Public Health, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mukesh Kumar
3rd Floor, 1014 Nayabad, DPK Housing 2nd Lane, Nayabad, Mukundapur, Kolkata - 700 099, West Bengal
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_72_20

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Context: Population across the globe are aging rapidly due to demographic transition. More than 50% of the elderly in India suffer from one or more chronic diseases and psychological distress is one of the most common morbidities among them. Aims and Objective: This study was conducted with the objective to assess the status of psychological distress among the elderly. Settings and Design: Acommunity based, cross-sectional study among 347 elderly aged 60 years and above. Methods and Materials: This study was done in 30 villages (clusters) in Singur block of West Bengal. A predesigned and pretested schedule was used to collect data. Statistical Analysis: Data were analysed by univariate and multivariate analyses. Results: The mean (± SD) age of the elderly was 67.67 (± 7.15) years, majority (67.4%) were in the 60–69 years age group. Most (62.8%) of the elderly were suffering from psychological distress which is significantly associated with below primary education level [AOR (95% CI)] = [25.09 (11.88-52.96)], living without spouse and child [AOR (95% CI) =7.88 (3.90-15.89)], financial dependence [AOR (95% CI) =20.23 (7.58-54.00)], dependent functional activity (assessed by ADL) [AOR (95% CI) =3.84 (1.25-11.76)], and decision for healthcare taken by others [AOR (95% CI)] = [3.84 (1.25-11.76)]. Conclusions: Alarmingly, the proportion of psychological distress was found to be high among the elderly of this rural area. Therefore, all steps must be taken with special focus on the mental health of the old people so that they may continue to contribute to the upliftment of the society.

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