Screening for depression in elderly Indian population

Ankur Barua, Nilamadhab Kar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The point prevalence of depressive disorders in the elderly population in India varies from 13 to 25%. Since the World Health Organization (five) Well-being Index (1998 version) is simple and easy to administer, an attempt is made to evaluate the Indian version of this instrument to identify depression in the elderly Indian community. Objectives: (1) To determine the prevalence of depression among the elderly population of rural areas of Udupi district, Karnataka, India. (2) To determine the validity and reliability of WHO (five) Well-being Index (1998 version) as a screening instrument to identify depressive disorders in elderly population in this Indian setting. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted over a period of eight months (from March 1 to October 31, 2002) in the three taluks of Udupi, Kundapura, and Karkala; belonging to the Udupi district of South India. We selected 627 people in the age group of 60 years and above for the study. Simple random sampling, without replacement method, using the probability proportionate to size (PPS) technique was used. The WHO (five) well-being index (1998 version) was validated against the major International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision (ICD-10) depression inventory of mastering depression in primary care version 2.2. Proportions and their 95% confidence intervals were calculated and Kappa statistics was applied to determine the reliability of the screening instrument. P value <0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: The prevalence of depression in elderly population was determined to be 21.7% (95% CI = 18.4 - 24.9). The Indian version of WHO-five well-being index (1998 version) showed a sensitivity of 97.0%, specificity of 86.4%, positive predictive value of 66.3% and an overall accuracy of 0.89. The Kappa statistics showed significantly high reliability of k = 0.71. Conclusion: The Indian version of "WHO (five) Well-being Index (1998 version)" was found to be an effective instrument for identifying depression in elderly Indian community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)150-153
Number of pages4
JournalIndian Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01-04-2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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