Introduction: Unipolar Major Depression is predicted to become the second-most important cause of morbidity throughout the world by the year 2020 by the World Health Organization (WHO). This systematic review on the prevalence rates of geriatric depression was conducted to draw the attention of all health care personnel for focussing their intense endeavours in addressing this burning issue.
(1) To determine the Median Prevalence Rates of geriatric depression of the world and in India.
(2) To conduct a Time-Trend Analysis on prevalence of geriatric depression in the world.
Materials & Methods: This Retrospective study based on Systematic review on prevalence of geriatric depression was conducted on the community based mental health surveys on geriatric depression conducted in continents of Asia, Europe, Australia, North America, and South America. All the studies that constituted the sample were conducted between 1956 and 2005. After applying the inclusion and exclusion criteria, 65 original research studies that surveyed a total of 99,297 elderly individuals in the age group of 60 years and above, residing in various parts of the world were included for the final analysis. Statistical procedures applied were the median prevalence rate and its corresponding inter-quartile range as well as the Chi-square for Linear Trend. P value <0.05 was considered as statistically significant.
Results: The Median Prevalence Rate of geriatric depression in the world was determined to be 10.3% with Interquartile Range varying between 4.6% and 16.0%. The Median Prevalence Rate of geriatric depression in Indian population was determined to be 21.9% with Interquartile Range varying between 11.6% and 31.1%.
Conclusion: The high prevalence rate of geriatric depression could be attributed to the fact that better diagnostic instruments with optimum validity and reliability had been developed during the recent years to diagnose geriatric depression at an early stage in the community.