Online Program

Service attendance and depression among older adults

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 3:06 p.m. - 3:18 p.m.

Allison Houston, MS, CPH, College of Arts & Sciences (Department of Sociology), SUNY (Albany), Albany, NY
Background: Older adults have higher levels of religious involvement than younger adults. However, few studies have focused on the protective effect of religiousness on depression among older adults. Objectives: The study investigated the effect of religious behaviors on depression among 1500 older participants in the 2001 Aging Religion and Health national Study. Methods: The main outcome was depression. Multivariate logistic regression models included income, education, a religious factor, self-rated health, and behavioral and social covariables. Results: The prevalence of depression was 37.7% in the elderly population. Respondents who attended religious services, ‘weekly or more often' were 1.51 times more likely (OR=1.51; 95% CI 1.15-1.99, P=0.003) to report no depression compared to respondents who attended religious service ‘less often'. Respondents in excellent health were 5.689 times more likely (OR=5.69; 95% CI 3.162-10.24, P<.0001) to report no depression than those in poor health. Individuals in good health were 3.19 times more likely(OR=3.19; 95% CI 2.02-5.03, P<.0001)than those in poor health, and individuals in fair health were 2.20 times more likely(OR=2.20; 95% CI 1.38-3.51, P<.0001)than those with poor health to report no depression. Respondents who had difficulty meeting monthly payments were 1.52 more likely(OR=1.52; 95% CI 1.21-1.91) to report depression than those who did not experience difficulty meeting monthly payments. Conclusions: The protective effect of religiousness on depression was especially strong in the healthy older subpopulations. Study findings may inform interventions for older people's participation in religious activities particularly those related to health-specific and financial needs.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Other professions or practice related to public health
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
Describe the distribution of depression in a national sample of older adults Identify religious measures related to depression in older adults Analyze associations between religiosity and depression Compare religiosity-depressive health subgroups differences

Keyword(s): Adult Health, Religion

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an advanced student (PhD candidate) and have worked independently and collaboratively with other scholars.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.