Quality of life in Chinese elderly people with depression

Sally W.C. Chan, Helen F.K. Chiu, Wai Tong Chien, David R. Thompson, Linda Lam

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Depression is the most prevalent functional mental disorder of later life. It is estimated that about 5% of the elderly population of Hong Kong are suffering from depression. Aim: To investigate the self-rated quality of life of community-dwelling elderly people diagnosed with depression, and to examine the relationships between quality of life and mental, physical health, functional status and social support. Methods and results: A cross-sectional descriptive survey was conducted in psychiatric outpatient clinics. A convenience sample of 80 Chinese elderly people with a diagnosis of depressive disorder was recruited. Perception of quality of life was measured by the Hong Kong Chinese World Health Organization Quality of Life Scale-Brief Version. Participants' mental status, functional abilities, physical health condition, and social support status were assessed. Sixty-one (76.3%) participants were female. They were least satisfied with 'meaningfulness of life', 'life enjoyment', 'concentration and thinking', 'energy' and 'work capacity'. Functional abilities had a positive association with participants' perceived quality of life, level of depression and number of physical health conditions had a negative association. Participants had low ratings of quality of life when compared with healthy persons and persons with chronic physical problems. Findings are discussed in light of the socio-cultural environment in Hong Kong. Conclusion: Comprehensive treatment and better control of depression, including different modes of medical and psychosocial intervention, could help to improve participants' perception of quality of life. A longitudinal study with a larger sample with various levels of depression and socio-demographic characteristics is recommended.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)312-318
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Chinese
  • Depression
  • Elderly
  • Hong Kong
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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