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Keywords:

  • social support;
  • disability;
  • suicidal ideation;
  • elderly;
  • home-care services

Abstract

Objectives

Despite the importance of tending to older individuals who are vulnerable to suicide, little is known about suicidal ideation in the portion of this population receiving home-care services in Asian countries. The objective of this cross-sectional study was to examine predictors of suicidal ideation in older individuals using home-care service.

Method

Participants were randomly selected from the individuals 50 years old and over using home-care services across Jeollabuk-do Province, Korea. A total of 697 subjects participated in this study. Each participant completed the short version of the Geriatric Depression Scale, the Scale for Suicidal Ideation, the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support, and the World Health Organization Disability Assessment Schedule II.

Results

Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that depression, perceived social support, and disability were significant predictors of suicidal ideation, whereas the roles of subjective health status and fish consumption remained ambiguous in this regard. In terms of social support, we also found that less perceived social support from family members was related to higher levels of suicidal ideation. The associations between various categories of disability and suicidal ideation disappeared after controlling for depression. Our investigation of the mediating effect of depression on the relationship between disability and suicidal ideation revealed that depression was either a complete (disability related to cognition, self-care, getting along with others, and life activities) or partial (disability related to participation) mediator.

Conclusions

Preventive strategies focusing on depression, social support, and disability should be emphasized during encounters with older people receiving home-care services. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.