Background: Depression is a common psychological problem among older people. Health-related quality of life (HRQoL) is now recognized by healthcare providers as an important treatment goal for people with depression. This study aimed to identify predictors of change in HRQoL among older people with depression.
Methods: In a longitudinal study, data were collected when participants were newly diagnosed with a depressive disorder at a regional outpatient department in Hong Kong and 12 months later. Seventy-seven Chinese participants aged 65 years or older completed the study. Measures included the Physical Health Condition Checklist (PHCC), Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS), Modified Barthel Index (MBI), Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL) scale, Social Support Questionnaire (SSQ), and World Health Organization Quality of Life Scale-Brief Version (WHOQOL).
Results: Significant improvements between the first and second assessments were noted in the total WHOQOL scores, GDS scores, and the number of the social support. The results of linear regression models showed that the increases in the IADL scores and decreases in the PHCC and GDS scores were significantly associated with higher final WHOQOL scores.
Discussion: Treatment for depression was effective in improving the participants’ overall condition and their perceived HRQoL. The results suggest that interventions to alleviate older people's level of depression, manage their physical ill health and enhance their instrumental activities of daily living ability could help improve their perceived HRQoL.