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Depression, Suicidal Behaviour, and Mental Disorders in Older Aboriginal Australians

St Vincent’s Hospital, Darlinghurst, Sydney, NSW 2010, Australia
Neurosciences Research Australia, Randwick, Sydney, NSW 2010, Australia
Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2010, Australia
School of Public Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2010, Australia
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(3), 447;
Received: 22 December 2017 / Revised: 20 February 2018 / Accepted: 28 February 2018 / Published: 4 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Indigenous Health and Wellbeing)
Aboriginal Australians experience higher levels of psychological distress, which may develop from the long-term sequelae of social determinants and adversities in early and mid-life. There is little evidence available on the impact of these on the mental health of older Aboriginal Australians. This study enrolled 336 Aboriginal Australian participants over 60 years from 5 major urban and regional areas in NSW, utilizing a structured interview on social determinants, and life-time history of physical and mental conditions; current psychosocial determinants and mental health. Univariate and multivariate analyses were utilized to examine the link between these determinants and current depressive scores and suicidality. There was a high rate of life-time depression (33.3%), current late-life depression (18.1%), and suicidal ideation (11.1%). Risk factors strongly associated with late-life depression included sleep disturbances, a history of suicidal behaviour, suicidal ideation in late-life and living in a regional location. This study supports certain historical and psychosocial factors predicting later depression in old age, and highlights areas to target for prevention strategies. View Full-Text
Keywords: late-life; depression; aboriginal; childhood; mental health; resilience late-life; depression; aboriginal; childhood; mental health; resilience
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Shen, Y.-T.; Radford, K.; Daylight, G.; Cumming, R.; Broe, T.G.A.; Draper, B. Depression, Suicidal Behaviour, and Mental Disorders in Older Aboriginal Australians. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 447.

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