Determinants of Depression among poor Elderly Women: Findings from refugee and non-refugee Communities in the Outskirts of Beirut, Lebanon


  • Bassem R. Saab
  • Zana El-Roueiheb
  • Monique Chaaya
  • Abla M. Sibai


Background. Depression among elderly females is an important public health concern. The present study aims at examining factors associated with female elderly depression in three underprivileged communities in Lebanon, one of which is almost solely inhabited by Palestinian refugees.
Methods. Four hundred and twenty-two women age 60-93 years were interviewed. Depression was assessed using the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS).
Results. Probable and definite depression was diagnosed in 74.5% and 29.6% of the women respectively. Following multivariate analysis, factors significantly associated with definite depression were Palestinian nationality, dissatisfaction with household income, lack of physical activity, and disability.
Conclusion. Findings highlight the need for greater efforts to provide a suitable environment for exercise for elderly. Policy makers need to improve the living conditions of the underprivileged communities in Lebanon, particularly Palestinian refugees.