Background: This study was to examine culturally based factors as potential predictors of depressive symptoms in older Taiwanese adults living in eight long-term care institutions in southern Taiwan.
Method: A cross-sectional, exploratory design study was used with a purposive sample of 156 participants with a mean age of 79.80 ± 7.14 years. Measurements included filial responsibility expectation questions, two questions about degrees of acceptance of institutionalization, Perceived Stress Scale, Self-Transcendence Scale, and Geriatric Depression Scale.
Results: An elder's willingness to be institutionalized, an elder's willingness to remain institutionalized, perceived stress, and self-transcendence were significantly associated with depressive symptoms (r = –0.35; –0.49; 0.60; and –0.67, respectively). Although no evidence for the relationship between filial responsibility and depressive symptoms was found in this study, there was evidence that filial responsibility was highly valued. Self-transcendence was the strongest predictor of depressive symptoms, accounting for 45% of the variance.
Conclusion: These findings provide insight into the cultural factors associated with depressive symptoms and support the need of timely interventions for institutionalized Taiwanese elderly population.