METHODS: It was a cross-sectional study. The Malay elderly aged 60 years and above were selected through convenient sampling to give a total of 230 respondents. The Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale (DASS-21) was used to assess the symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress. Bivariate analyses were performed using chi-square tests and multiple logistic regression analyses were conducted to determine the association between the factors and each of the mental health statuses assessed.
RESULTS: The results showed that the prevalence of depression, anxiety, and stress among the elderly respondents was 27.8%, 22.6%, and 8.7%, respectively. The significant factors for depression were single elderly (Adjusted OR = 3.27, 95%CI 1.66, 6.44), living with family (Adjusted OR = 4.98, 95%CI 2.05, 12.10), and poor general health status (Adjusted OR = 2.28, 95%CI 1.20, 4.36). Living with family was the only significant factor for anxiety (Adjusted OR = 2.68, 95%CI 1.09, 6.57). There was no significant factor for stress.
CONCLUSIONS: Depression and anxiety among the Malay elderly in the rural community were very worrying. More equity in health should be created or strengthened in order to intensify the opportunity to identify, diagnose, and treat those with mental health problems. Living arrangement in the rural community was an important factor that had influenced depression and anxiety. Therefore, further research is recommended for more comprehensive information, as a result of which appropriate intervention can be made.