The world's population has been evolving rapidly; every country in the world is facing this drastic progression in the number and the percentage of the elderly in their net population. As the chronological age advances, physiological and psychosocial decline will be evident among all older adults. The potentially relevant literature was identified using appropriate search terms in electronic databases such as PubMed MEDLINE, Scopus, ProQuest, Web of Science, CINAHL, IndMed, and Google Scholar. Articles published from 2006 to 2019, reported the prevalence and the risk factors for depression among older adults living in the community, old age homes, or hospitals of the South Asian countries. Articles were published in the languages other than English and those reporting the categorised or mean depressive scores were excluded from the review. After quality check for all the retrieved articles from different databases, 120 articles were included for the meta-analysis. The data were extracted based on a validated data extraction form, and the reviewer contacted the authors for clarification of the missing data whenever required. The estimates were pooled using the random effect model for meta-analyses. Sub-group and sensitivity analyses were also performed. The overall pooled estimate (random effect models) of the prevalence of depression among the elderly was 42.0% (95% CI: 0.38–0.46), Chi-squared P-value <0.001, and I2 99.14%. The pooled estimate of the prevalence was higher in the community settings than the old age homes (44.0%; 95% CI: 39.0–49.0 vs. 42.0%; 95% CI: 34.0–49.0). Depression is a common problem among the elderly population and the pooled estimate of depression would give directions to the healthcare providers, policymakers, and future researchers to plan some measures (either pharmacological or non-pharmacological interventions) to effectively tackle the burden of geriatric depression in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-219
Number of pages19
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 03-2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gerontology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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