Objective The prevalence of depressive symptoms and healthcare utilisation among the ageing population in Thailand is unclear. The study assessed the predictors of and healthcare utilisation of depressive symptoms among an ageing population in Thailand. Design Cross-sectional, population-based study. Setting National sample of people aged 45 years and older in Thailand from the 2015 Health, Ageing and Retirement in Thailand (HART) study. Participants The sample included 5135 individuals (≥45 years) with complete depressive symptoms data from the 2015 HART study. Outcome measures Depressive symptoms were measured with the Centre for Epidemiological Studies Depression Scale. Logistic regression was used to estimate the associations between sociodemographic factors, health factors and depressive symptoms, and the associations between depressive symptoms and different types of healthcare utilisation. Results The study population included 5135 participants with a median age of 66 years. The prevalence of depressive symptoms was 13.9%. The proportion of past 2 year hospital admission was 12.8%, hospital outpatient 49.7%, health centre outpatient 26.2%, private clinic 8.4%, traditional medical practitioner 2.8%, medical home visit 4.9% and past-year medical check-up 50.3%. In adjusted logistic regression analysis, low income, residing in the Southern region, history of a cardiovascular disease, brain diseases and/or psychiatric problems and functional disability were positively associated with depressive symptoms. Male sex, being a Buddhist, urban residence, high religious involvement, moderate and high physical activity were negatively associated with depressive symptoms. In fully adjusted logistic regression models, depressive symptoms were positively associated with hospital inpatient utilisation, hospital outpatient utilisation, health centre utilisation and utilisation of a traditional medicine practitioner. Conclusions More than one in 10 participants had depressive symptoms. Chronic conditions, sociodemographic factors, physical inactivity and low religious involvement increased the odds of depressive symptoms. Furthermore, depressive symptoms increased the odds of conventional and traditional healthcare utilisation.
- depression & mood disorders
- mental health