Socio-demographic correlates of psychological morbidity: A community based cross-sectional study among the rural elderly of North 24 Parganas

Psychological and physical health are influenced by a battery of socioeconomic, behavioural and psychosocial determinants. The purpose of this study was to look into the sociodemographic factors that influence psychological health among the rural elderly aged 60 years and above residing under the jurisdiction of Charghat and Machlandapur II Gram Panchayat in North 24 Parganas, West Bengal. All the elderly were approached for voluntary participation. Finally, 408 people agreed to participate in this study, of which 193 were males and 215 were females. A pretested questionnaire, containing information on age, sex, religion, marital status, education, occupation, monthly household income and living arrangement was used to obtain socio-demographic data. Uday-pareek socioeconomic status scale was used to determine socioeconomic class. Age (80 years and above), sex (female over male), financial dependency and socioeconomic class significantly predicted the occurrence of somatic symptoms, anxiety and insomnia, social dysfunction and severe depression among the studied elderly. Sociodemographic factors, like, age, sex, occupational status and socio-economic class, played a substantial role in psychiatric morbidity among the older persons in the rural study area of West Bengal.