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Health behaviors influencing depressive symptoms in older Koreans living alone: secondary data analysis of the 2014 Korean longitudinal study of aging

 Heejung Kim  ;  Sooyoung Kwon  ;  Soyun Hong  ;  Sangeun Lee 
 BMC GERIATRICS, Vol.18(1) : 186, 2018 
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Depressive symptoms ; Health behavior ; Korean longitudinal study of aging ; Living arrangement ; Moderation ; Older adult ; Secondary data analysis
BACKGROUND: Geriatric depression is a societal problem, specifically in those living alone in Korea. This study aims are to investigate (1) how sociodemographic factors, health status, and health behaviors are differently associated with depressive symptoms in older Koreans living alone compared to those living with others and (2) how living arrangements attenuated or strengthened the associations between four types of health behaviors and depressive symptoms. METHODS: This secondary data analysis was conducted using data from the 2014 Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging. A structured survey assessing sociodemographic factors, health status, and health behaviors was conducted with people aged 65 or older who lived alone (n = 1359) and living with others (n = 2864). A multiple linear regression with interaction terms was conducted between mean-centered health behaviors and the status of living alone. All statistical analyses were performed using SPSS Statistics 23.0, and the two-tailed level of significance was set at 0.05. RESULTS: Those living alone reported higher levels of depressive symptoms than those living with others (Mdiff = 2.129, SE = 0.005, p <  0.001). The variance of depressive symptoms explained by 13 variables was 18.1% for those living alone compared to 23.7% for those living with others. Compared to health behaviors, sociodemographic factors and health status more explained depressive symptoms, specifically with psychiatric disorders, pain, and impaired functionality as risk factors. Smoking, alcohol abstinence, physical inactivity, and social inactivity were associated with more depressive symptoms. Living arrangements moderated the association between depressive symptoms and each health behavior, except for physical inactivity (all p values < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Older Koreans living alone were exposed to different risk factors for depressive symptoms compared to those living with others. Non-modifiable sociodemographic and health status factors were highly associated with depressive symptoms relative to health behaviors; thus, it is important to conduct early assessment and classification of vulnerable subgroups regarding geriatric depression. Specific assessment instruments should be prepared in practice according to living arrangements among older Koreans. Targeted interventions are essential to addressing living arrangements and modifying health behaviors to reduce smoking, alcohol consumption, and social inactivity, specifically in those living alone.
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3. College of Nursing (간호대학) > Dept. of Nursing (간호학과) > 1. Journal Papers
2. College of Dentistry (치과대학) > Others (기타) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Kim, Heejung(김희정) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3719-0111
Lee, Sangeun(이상은)
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