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WELL-BEING AND DEPRESSION IN OLD AGE IN CONTEXT OF GENDER

WELL-BEING AND DEPRESSION IN OLD AGE IN CONTEXT OF GENDER

Saveena Kumari1 and Jyoti Gaur2,

 Department of Human Development, The IIS University, Jaipur

 

Abstract

Background: Psychological well-being refers to how people evaluate their lives. According to Diener (1997), these evaluations may be in the form of cognitions or in the form of affect. The cognitive part is an information based appraisal of one’s life that is when a person gives conscious evaluative judgments about one’s satisfaction with life as a whole.

Aim: To find out the deference’s between wellbeing and depression in the old age.

Methodology:  280 participants (60 to 80 years of age and of both sexes) were selected from various cities of Rajasthan. The persons suffering from chronic diseases were excluded from the study. The instructions were given on the questionnaire and were also explained to them.  They were assured that the confidentiality would be maintained.  It was assured that none of the questions were left unfilled.  It was also checked that the subject does not encircle both the answers given against a question. Many of them could not fill the answers themselves; hence the researcher herself completed the questionnaire as they answered. The Geriatric Depression, Scale PGI Well-being scale were used.

Result: The above table shows that the two groups that is males and females differ significantly from one another on well-being scores. The well-being scores of females were comparatively lower as compared to men. The mean and SD for well-being are 13.2286 (4.66 788) and 12.00 (4.01795), respectively, indicating the significance of difference (= 2.360) and the Z value= 2.3592 and two tailed p=0.0183 at 95% confidence interval. table 3 . The woman significantly higher depression scores as compared to men. The mean and SD for depression are 4.9500 (4.20744) and 6.1143 (4.39111), respectively indicating significance of difference (t= -2.265) and the Z value= -2.2653 and two tailed p=0.0235 at 95% confidence interval

Conclusion: second major cause of worldwide disability stress by 2020, which is also going to be double in women as compared to Women surely have more physiological changes in their lifespan. These changes are also associated with hormonal changes. Also, women are more involved in the family and their roles in the family keep on changing along with the family life-cycle. Hence, they get more disturbed when there is a change in their environment. WHO describes unipolar depression to be the men? But to suggest that more research is needed

Key Words: Well-Being, Depression, Old Age and Gender

Introduction                                   

The WHO constitution expects the highest attainable standard of health and enshrines it to be a fundamental right of every human being.  This fundamental right includes the physical as well as psychological health that should be available within time, acceptable, qualitative and affordable.  This means that one must have access to mean better physical and mental health care and healthy living and working environment. [1]

No doubt that the right to health has led to greater longevity and benefited older people who have longer and healthier lives today. However, older people are still not given their rights to adequate health care and many a times these always as are not always friendly towards elderly.  Many a time’s older people, find these services being refused to them, just because they are too old. [2] In Zambia, many older people reported that the health staff is and disrespectful and neglecting.  They reported that they are told that they are consuming the medicines meant for the young and that they are wasting it. [3] A study of five Asian countries concludes that in India, Cambodia and Vietnam, the geriatric expertise does not exist even in the rural areas and the areas that are affected by the tsunami. [4]The studies also show that women generally live longer than men, and this also means that women, who live life over 60 years of age, live more years in ill-health than men. [5]

 If food, shelter and clothing are all what is needed by a human being, then why the aging adults who get all these facilities should cribs over their situations? Is there something else that bothers them and is being overlooked by the family and society? The present study is an attempt to find out the well-being and depression in aging adults and to study the gender differences between the same.

Objectives

The main objectives of the present study were as follows-

1.       To study the well-being and the prevalence of depression in aging adults (60 - 80 years of age).

2.       To study the correlation between well-being and depression.

3.       To study the significance of difference in depression and well-being between males and females.

Hypothesis

The hypothesis were as under-

1.       The subjective well-being of aging adults is satisfactory.

2.       There is no prevalence of depression in aging adults.

3.       There is no correlation between depression and well being.

4.       There is no significant difference in depression among males and females.

5.       There is no significant difference in well-being between males and females.

Methodology

280 participants (60 to 80 years of age and of both sexes) were selected from various cities of Rajasthan. The persons suffering from chronic diseases were excluded from the study. The procedure to fill the questionnaire was explained clearly to aging adults. The instructions were given on the questionnaire and were also explained to them.  They were assured that the confidentiality would be maintained.  It was assured that none of the questions were left unfilled.  It was also checked that the subject does not encircle both the answers given against a question. Many of them could not fill the answers themselves; hence the researcher herself completed the questionnaire as they answered

Tools

The Geriatric Depression Scale

(GDS) is a self report assessment tool which was used to identify depression in the aging adults. It consists of 30 items.  It was first developed in 1980 by J.A. Yesavage and others.  The questions are answered in either 'yes' or 'no', hence the scale is simple and may be even filled by an individual who is ill or moderately cognitively impaired.  This scale is commonly used as a routine part of the geriatric assessment.  Each question has one score, which is cumulatively rated on the scoring grid. The scores range from 0- 30, out of which 0-9 are set as normal, 10-19 as mild depression and 20- 30 as severe depression. GDS alone cannot be considered a diagnostic tool for clinical depression.  The test reliable and has good validity.

PGI Well-being

Developed by S.K. Verma and Amita Verma (1989) was used to measure well-being in aging adults. The tool contains 20 items.  Various aspects of Well-being that is worrying, distress, life satisfaction, control etc. are measured in it.  Higher scores indicate higher Well-being.  The possible range of the scores of PGIWBM is from 20 to 80.   Its reliability and temporal coefficient are 0. 98 and 0.91. 

Statistical Analysis

The collected data was tabulated and analyzed using SPSS version 20.0.  Mean, SD, t test and Z test was used to analyze the data.

Results

The results in accords to the above mentioned hypothesis were as follows-

Depression

Pearson Table 1 Correlation between the variables (Well-being and Depression)

 

Tools

WB

DEP

Well being

Pearson Correlation

1

-.467**

Sig. (2-tailed)

 

.000

N

280

280

Correlation

-.467**

1

Sig. (2-tailed)

.000

 

N

280

280

** Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).

A Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient was computed to assess the relationship between Depression and Well-being. Weak negative correlation was found between the two variables [r = -.467, n =280, p = 000]. A scatter plot summarizes the results (Table 1). The value of R2, the coefficient of determination, is 0.22.  As found a positive correlation exists between anxiety and depression and the quality of life and psychological Well-being. And depression was found to be negatively correlated to quality of life and well-being. [6] A similar study by Cramm found that there is no significant association between well-being and depression. [7] 

 

Table 02 Z and ‘t’ ratio depicting a comparison of males and females over well-being

Variable

Gender

N

Mean

SD

t

df

Sig. (2-tailed)

Z- value

2 tailed

 p value

Well-being

Males

140

13.2286

4.66788

 

 

 

 

 

Females

140

12.0000

4.01795

2.360

278

.019

2.3592

0.0183

The above table shows that the two groups that is males and females differ significantly from one another on well-being scores. The well-being scores of females were comparatively lower as compared to men. The mean and SD for well-being are 13.2286 (4.66 788) and 12.00 (4.01795), respectively, indicating the significance of difference (= 2.360) and the Z value= 2.3592 and two tailed p=0.0183 at 95% confidence interval.  The general well-being is defined as the satisfaction and contentment with one’s own personal life.  One who has satisfactory interpersonal relationships, experiences happiness and is likely to have a better quality of life.  As compared to men, women are more verbal and usually discuss everything, whether good or bad, in their lives. While men, have tended to ignore the trivial issues and problems.  In a study of 146,000 samples from 65 various societies, of various age groups, 24% men and 28% women perceived themselves to be happy while among the oldest group 20% of women and 25% of men described themselves to be very happy.  The gender difference between the perceived happiness was found to be highly significant. [8]

Table 03 Z and‘t’ ratio depicting comparison of males and females over depression

Variable

Gender

N

Mean

SD

t

df

Sig. (2-tailed)

Z- value

2 tailed p- value

Depression

Males

140

4.9500

4.20744

 

 

 

-2.2653

0.0235

Females

140

6.1143

4.39111

-2.265

278

.024

 

 

The above table shows that the two groups that is males and females differ significantly from one another on depression scores. The woman significantly higher depression scores as compared to men. The mean and SD for depression are 4.9500 (4.20744) and 6.1143 (4.39111), respectively indicating significance of difference (t= -2.265) and the Z value= -2.2653 and two tailed p=0.0235 at 95% confidence interval. second major cause of worldwide disability stress by 2020, which is also going to be double in women as compared to Women surely have more physiological changes in their lifespan. These changes are also associated with hormonal changes. Also, women are more involved in the family and their roles in the family keep on changing along with the family life-cycle. Hence, they get more disturbed when there is a change in their environment. WHO describes unipolar depression to be the men. But to suggest that more research is needed. [9]

Conclusion

The research concludes that men and women both suffer from depression in old age.  However, men were found to have better well-being and women suffered the depression more.  It is obvious that a person who has better well-being not only has better self-esteem and life satisfaction, but also manages stress and problems of life much more easily. Interventions in old age may help in reducing depression symptoms. Hence, old age policies should consist of programs specially meant for psychological Well-being. This will not only keep the elderly happy, but also make them beneficial for the society.

References

1.        WHO, The Media Center . The right to health,  Fact sheet N0. 323, Reviewed November 2013.

2.        Helpage International, Insights on Ageing: a survey report, 2010.

3.        Helpage International Africa Regional Development Centre, The situation of older people in Zambia: Older people struggling to survive in a poor country, 2006.

4.        Asia-Pacific Helpage International Network, Primary Health care for Older People – A Participatory Study in 5 Asian Countries (Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam), 2007.

5.        WHO, Estimated healthy life expectancy (HALE) at birth and age 60, by sex, WHO Member States, 2002. Source: Annex Table 4, World Health Report 2004  (6 August 2010).

6.        Asad Nizami, Shabana Abbas, Faiza Aslam, Fareed A Minhas, Najma Najam .  The relationship between Anxiety, Depression, Psychological Well-being and Quality of Life in Diabetic Patients having Haemodialysis, Journal of Pakistani Psychiatric Society, 2005;Volume 2, Number 2, Page 8.

7.        Cramm JM, Hartgerink JM, de Vreede PL, Bakker TJ, Steyerberg EW, Mackenbach JP,  Nieboer AP .The Relationship Between Older Adults’ Management Abilities, Well-being and Depression, The relationship between older adults’ self-management abilities, well-being and depressionEuropean Journal of Aging, 2012; 9 (4): 353–360

8.        Ronald Inglehart Gender, Aging, and Subjective Well-Being,  International Journal of Comparative Sociology and Institute for Social Research (2002)., Vol. 43 (3-5), pg. 391-408

9.        WHO Publication (2000). Gender and women's mental health: An Evidence Based Review.