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Factors associated with depressive symptoms in older Taiwanese adults in a long-term care community

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 March 2013

Ya-Chuan Hsu*
Department of Nursing, Chang Jung Christian University, Tainan City, Taiwan
Terry Badger
College of Nursing, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA
Pamela Reed
College of Nursing, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA
Elaine Jones
College of Nursing, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, USA
Correspondence should be addressed to: Professor Ya-Chuan Hsu, PhD, RN, FAAN, Department of Nursing, Chang Jung Christian University, No. 396, Chang Jung Rd. Sec. 1, Kway Jen District, Tainan City, 71101, Taiwan, ROC. Phone: +886-6-2785-123; ext. 3155/886-7-7883-753/0975139695; Fax: +886-6-2785-581. Email:


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.

Research Article
Copyright © International Psychogeriatric Association 2013

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