Cross-sectional associations of personal efforts and beliefs and depressive symptoms among older adults in India.

Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Sci Rep, 2022, 12, (1), pp. 13194
Issue Date:
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Whilst there is growing evidence on the increased vulnerability of older adults to depression, there is limited research on potentially mitigative factors against symptoms of depression at a population level. This research examined associations of possible protective factors (personal efforts and beliefs) and depressive symptoms among older adults in India. This cross-sectional study used data from the Longitudinal Aging Study in India with 31,464 respondents aged 60 years and above. Depressive symptoms were assessed using the 10-item Centre for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale. Multivariable linear regression was used while exploring the associated factors of depressive symptoms. The mean score of depressive symptoms was 2.94 (CI 2.92, 2.96). Older adults who engaged in moderate [aCoef: -0.11, CI -0.18, -0.05], vigorous [aCoef: -0.09, CI -0.16, -0.03], or both types of physical activity [aCoef: -0.10, CI -0.19, -0.02] had lower likelihood of depressive symptoms in comparison to those who were physically inactive. Older adults who participated in social activities were less likely to have depressive symptoms [aCoef: -0.44, CI -0.50, -0.39] compared to their socially inactive counterparts. Further, older adults who perceived religion as very important [aCoef: -0.29, CI -0.41, -0.17], who had high life satisfaction [aCoef: -0.78, CI -0.82, -0.73], who had good self-perceived health [aCoef: -0.29, CI -0.33, -0.25] and those who had high self-perceived social standing [aCoef: -0.39, CI -0.47, -0.31] had lower likelihood of depressive symptoms in comparison to their respective counterparts. Physical activity, social participation, voluntary work and financial contribution to family, religiosity, life satisfaction, self-perceived health and self-perceived social standing are associated with lower likelihood of depressive symptoms among community-dwelling older adults in this study. Future longitudinal studies should explore these factors that can guide interventions against depression in old age.
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