Risk factors for depression among older adults with dual sensory loss

Aging Ment Health. 2009 Jul;13(4):569-76. doi: 10.1080/13607860902774410.


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to identify risk factors that are associated with depression among older adults with dual sensory loss, evaluating variables typically associated with depression in an elderly population and variables related to sensory loss.

Method: Survey data was collected from a sample of 203 adults aged 55 years and older with significant hearing and vision loss. Independent variables included demographics (as control variables), sensory loss-related factors, activity factors, and social factors. Correlation and hierarchical linear regression were used to analyze the data.

Results: A large proportion of participants experienced depression. Risk factors typically associated with depression in the elderly were also significant for this group, with the exception of functional disability, but only one variable directly related to sensory loss was significant in the final model. The block of variables with the greatest relationship to depression was the social factor.

Discussion: Receipt of rehabilitation services and use of assistive devices are two strategies that could be used to address the issue of depression with this population. Interventions could target some of the variables found to be associated with depression in this study: communication problems, loss of activity, and physical activity.

MeSH terms

  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Hearing Disorders / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Support
  • Vision Disorders / psychology*