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Biopsychosocial factors associated with depression in the elderly: A systematic literature review


Background: One of the most common mental illnesses worldwide and that has significant negative effects on well-being and physical health, is depression. Many factors that affect the occurrence of depression are biopsychosocial. Elderly people have high risk factors for depression. This study aims to review and find a gap in current evidence of biopsychosocial factors affecting depression in the elderly.
Methods: We conducted an advanced search on PubMed database between October and November 2021. We screened the bibliographies of the articles from the database search using a set of inclusion criteria: studies with quantitative design; elderly population sample; exploration of at least one biopsychosocial factor; depression as the outcome or dependent variable; written in English; and published between 2011 and 2021.
Results: We found 54 studies that met the inclusion criteria. Of these, five papers discussed biopsychosocial factors, 18 discussed biological and psychological/social factors, five discussed psychosocial factors, and the rest of the studies discussed one component of biopsychosocial factors. Biological factors influencing elderly depression include being female, having health problems or low health status, older age, genetics, brain structure, and biomarkers, taking certain drugs, and lack of or inability to carry out daily activities. Psychosocial factors include lack of social support, low education level, financial problems, single/unmarried, lack of contact with family/friends, living alone, low self-perceived health, stressful life events, loneliness, and losing hobbies. From the literature search, it was also found that there are biopsychosocial factors that have not been studied and are expected to be able to make references for future research. From this literature review, we found gaps in the availability of evidence about biopsychosocial factors that require further research.
Conclusions: Knowing the biopsychosocial factors that affect them can help to prevent depression in the elderly.


elderly, depression, biopsychosocial, systematic review



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