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Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research
Volume 2013, Article ID 923710, 4 pages
Research Article

Mental Health Problems and Sociodemographic Correlates in Elderly Medical Inpatients in a University Hospital in Egypt

Internal Medicine Department, Zagazig Faculty of Medicine, Zagazig 44519, Egypt

Received 19 April 2013; Revised 24 June 2013; Accepted 31 July 2013

Academic Editor: Howard B. Degenholtz

Copyright © 2013 Emam M. Esmayel et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Depression and cognitive impairment are two common mental and public health problems especially among elderly. In this study, we determined the prevalence of these problems and their associations with sociodemographic factors among hospitalized elderly in Egypt. To achieve this, 200 elderly medical inpatients were included in this cross-sectional study. Methods. Comprehensive geriatric assessment was done for every participant. Sociodemographic variables were assessed by interviews with patients and their family members. Depressive symptoms were screened for by the 15-item Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), and the presence of depressive symptoms was defined as a GDS score of ≥6. Cognitive impairment was assessed by the Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) Scale, and cognitive impairment was defined as a MMSE score of ≤23 out of a total score of 30. Results. The prevalence of both depressive symptoms and cognitive impairment was 72% and 30%, respectively. Significant associations were noticed between each of depressive symptoms and cognitive impairment, and low income and advancing age ( ), respectively. Other associations were insignificant. Conclusions. The findings of this study may be an alarm for health authorities and staffs involved in elderly care to increase their awareness of social and mental health problems among the elderly.