Journal List > J Korean Acad Community Health Nurs > v.27(1) > 1058409

Seo and So: Depression and Cognitive Function of the Community-dwelling Elderly



The purpose of this study was to examine the depression and cognitive function of community-dwelling older adults.


243 aged over 65 in Won-Ju in South Korea participated in this study. Data were collected from April to June 2013 through interviews. This study utilized the Geriatric Depression Scale Short Form, the Korean version of MMSE-DS (MMSE for Dementia Screening), and infirmity testing for basic health status. Descriptive statistics, χ2, t-test, ANOVA, Scheffé's test, and Pearson's correlation coefficient were used.


75.3% of the participants belonged to the depression group, and the prevalence of cognitive impairment was 17.3%. There were significant differences in depression and cognitive function according to gender, educational level, type of insurance, subjective health, frailty, and whether to be a client of home care service. The level of depression was significantly higher and the level of cognitive functions was significantly lower in older adults in home care services than in community-dwelling older adults.


This study is meaningful in that it included older adults in home care services to provide information to develop effective prevention programs for improving cognitive functions. The results of this study can be used to develop future community prevention and intervention.

Figures and Tables

Table 1

General Characteristics of Participants (N=243)

Characteristics Categories n (%) or M±SD
Gender Male 57 (23.5)
Female 186 (76.5)
Age (year) 65~69 15 (6.2)
70~74 55 (22.6)
75~79 89 (36.6)
≥80 84 (34.6)
Education None 80 (32.9)
Elementary school 101 (41.6)
Middle school 37 (15.2)
≥High school 25 (10.3)
Type of insurance Medicaid 70 (28.8)
Medical insurance 173 (71.2)
Number of chronic disease 2.06±1.10
Subjective health status Very bad 25 (10.3)
Bad 83 (34.2)
Moderate 92 (37.9)
Good 39 (16.0)
Very good 4 (1.6)
frailty level Health group 13 (5.3)
High risk frailty older adults 142 (58.4)
Frailty group 87 (35.8)
Home care services Yes 120 (49.4)
No 123 (50.6)
Table 2

Depression and Cognitive function of Participants (N=243)

Characteristics Categories n (%)
Depression Normal 60 (24.7)
Mild depression 88 (36.2)
Severe depression 95 (39.1)
Cognitive function Normal 201 (82.7)
Cognitive impairment 42 (17.3)
Table 3

Depression according to General Characteristics (N=243)

Characteristics Categories M±SD t or F (p) Scheffé
Gender Male 6.49±4.21 2.59 (.010)
Female 8.14±4.20
Age (year) 65~69 6.07±5.19 1.86 (.136)
70~74 7.40±4.42
75~79 7.55±4.53
≥80 8.50±3.54
Education Nonea 9.13±3.72 5.96 (.001) a>b
Elementary schoolb 7.53±4.02
Middle school 6.86±4.70
≥High school 5.56±4.87
Type of insurance Medicaid 9.80±3.42 5.50 (<.001)
Medical insurance 6.92±4.29
Subjective health status Very bada 11.64±3.71 36.28 (<.001) a, b>c>d, e
badb 9.81±3.26
Moderatec 6.90±3.50
Goodd 3.58±3.22
Very goode 0.33±0.58
frailty level Health groupa 2.23±2.35 56.41 (<.001) a<b<c
High risk frailty older adultsb 6.45±3.77
frailty groupc 10.71±3.22
Home care services Yes 9.67±3.48 7.74 (<.001)
No 5.89±4.12
Table 4

Cognitive Function according to General Characteristics (N=243)

Characteristics Categories M±SD t or F (p) Scheffé
Gender Male 24.75±3.29 -2.33 (.022)
Female 23.54±3.92
Age (year) 65~69a 25.93±3.35 5.40 (.001) a, b>c
70~74b 24.80±3.54
75~79c 23.91±3.72
≥80 22.71±3.86
Education Nonea 21.38±3.22 32.73 (<.001) a<b<c, d
Elementary schoolb 23.96±3.46
Middle schoolc 26.46±3.20
≥High schoold 27.20±2.14
Type of insurance Medicaid 23.03±3.91 -2.08 (.038)
Medical insurance 24.14±3.73
Subjective health status Very bad 22.64±4.04 5.05 (.001) a<b
bada 22.78±3.65
Moderate 24.34±3.54
Goodb 25.25±3.96
Very good 27.67±1.53
frailty level Health groupa 27.46±2.37 17.87 (<.001) a>b>c
High risk frailty older adultsb 24.47±3.40
frailty groupc 22.22±3.96
Home care services Yes 23.08±3.81 -3.04 (.003)
No 24.54±3.69
Table 5

Correlation among Depression, Cognitive Function & Related Factors (N=243)

Variables Age Education Number of chronic disease Subjective health status Fraility level Depression Cognitive function
r (p) r (p) r (p) r (p) r (p) r (p) r (p)
Age 1
Education -.17
Number of chronic disease -.00
Subjective health status .00
frailty level .17
Depression .14
Cognitive function -.29


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