Geriatric Depressive Symptoms in Myanmar: Incidence and Associated Factors

J Appl Gerontol. 2020 Nov;39(11):1230-1239. doi: 10.1177/0733464819879605. Epub 2019 Oct 14.


Myanmar is one of many countries currently facing a growing older adult population; yet, the mental health status of the country's older adults is understudied. This is the first article to investigate the prevalence of geriatric depressive symptoms and its associated factors in Myanmar. We use data from the most recent large-scale older adult survey conducted in 2016, which employed the four-item short version of the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS-4). Descriptive statistics reveal that, depending on the threshold applied, about 16% to 56% of the surveyed older adults have indications of depressive symptoms. We find that both economic and health status have a statistically significant association with depressive symptoms, but no basic individual characteristics are associated with it. Our findings suggest the importance of a social security system for older adults. Expanding the scope of the pension scheme and improving the provision of health care may be among the important policy options.

Keywords: Myanmar; economics status; geriatric depressive symptoms; health status.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Depression / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Geriatric Assessment*
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myanmar / epidemiology
  • Socioeconomic Factors