Background: Life expectancy is a good indicator of socioeconomic development, and as an indicator of long-term survival, it can be considered a positive health indicator. The trends in life expectancy show that people are living longer; and they have a right to a long life in good health, rather than one with pain and disability. The need to provide quality mental health care for the elderly in home settings is a critical issue, as the aging population is growing rapidly and care is becoming a necessity for a higher proportion of the elderly.
Aim: To assess the effectiveness of a structured teaching program on knowledge regarding the prevention of depression among the elderly
Methods: A quasi-experimental research approach was adopted to assess the effectiveness of a structured teaching program on knowledge regarding the prevention of depression among the elderly in the selected village of Moga, Punjab, India. Sixty elderly individuals (>65 yrs old) were selected by a systematic random sampling technique; and a pre-test was arranged prior to the structured teaching program and a posttest afterward. The main limitation of this approach was the lack of a control group.
Results: The knowledge in the majority of elderly individuals regarding the prevention of depression was average (45%) prior to taking part in the structured teaching program; however, their knowledge improved to 80% afterward. The difference between the mean pre- and post-test knowledge scores was highly significant (p<0.001); hence, the null hypothesis H0 was rejected and the research hypothesis H1 was accepted, indicating that the structured teaching program had an impact on the knowledge in the elderly regarding the prevention of depression. In the pre-test, the majority of elderly individuals (45%) obtained an average knowledge score, 30% obtained a below average knowledge score and 25% obtained a good knowledge score. In the post-test, the majority of the elderly (80%) obtained a good knowledge score and 20% obtained an average knowledge score.
Conclusion: There was a statistically significant difference between pre- and post-test knowledge scores in the majority of variables, with the exception of gender and family type. Therefore, the elderly individuals should be given the necessary awareness in the prevention of depression.
Ramanjeet Kaur Sangha and Amarjit Kaur Singhera