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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 128-133

Elder abuse and its association with depression and social support: A community-based study from Tezpur, Assam

Department of Psychiatric Social Work, Lokopriya Gopinath Bordoloi Regional Institute of Mental Health, Tezpur, Assam, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Arif Ali
Department of Psychiatric Social Work, Lokopriya Gopinath Bordoloi Regional Institute of Mental Health, Tezpur, Assam
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jgmh.jgmh_13_18

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Background: Abuse among older adults is a sensitive issue that needs an elaborative research study in the Indian context, specifically in rural areas. A drastic change in the sociocultural aspects of looking at this vulnerable group of people is not only limited to urban areas but also touches the simple rural life. Thus, the present study aimed to know about the prevalence of abuse and its associations with depression and social support among the rural older adults. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional rural community-based study was conducted. The universe of the study comprised older adults residing under Mazgaon Panchayat, Tezpur, Sonitpur district of Assam. Two polling stations were randomly selected, using simple random sampling (lottery method) for the present study. Based on the two electorate lists, 141 older adults aged 60 years and above were listed out. From that list, 102 participants fulfilled the inclusion criteria and completed the interview. A semi-structured sociodemographic data sheet, Mini–Mental Status Examination, Vulnerability to Abuse Screening Scale, Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), and the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support were administered to the respondents. Results: The prevalence of vulnerability was 28.4%, dependence was 13.7%, dejection was 45%, and coercion was 2% among the rural older adults. In the GDS, 29.4% of the respondents reported mild depression and 7.8% of respondents reported severe depression. In perceived social support, result shows that the mean score is high in the domain of family (24.62 ± 4.6) followed by significant others (24.52 ± 4.2) and friends (20.94 ± 6.05). Significant positive correlation was found between abuse and depression (r = 0.619, P = 0.01) among the older adults. Vulnerability to abuse has a significant negative correlation with perceived social support (r = −0.443, P = 0.01). Perceived social support and depression contributed significantly to the prediction of vulnerability to abuse among older adults (F(5,96) =18.684, P = 0.000) accounting for 4.93% variance. Conclusions: The older adults in the rural community are prone to vulnerability with a high risk of dejection. Depression strongly contributed to the variance on the overall vulnerability to abuse among older adults. The results of this study may guide in planning and implementing programs regarding prevention and management of abuse among older adults.

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