Mental Illness and Disability among Elders in Developing Countries: The Case of Nepal

Sree Subedi, Mark Tausig, Janardan Subedi, C. L. Broughton, Sarah Williams-Blangero

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Scopus citations


    Objectives: This article attempts to document the prevalence of psychiatric disorders among elders in a rural village in Nepal. In addition, we investigate the relationship between psychiatric illness and functional disability to assess the impact of disorder on social functioning. Method: A semistructured interview checklist to diagnose six disorders was used (N = 182). In addition, elders older than age 60 were examined to assess the functional impact of mental health conditions by measuring functional disability. Results: Eighteen percent of elders seem to have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder. Furthermore, in general these elders were also less likely to receive assistance with the disabilities they report, compared with those who do not experience a psychiatric disorder. Discussion: Documenting the extent of psychiatric disorder among elders in developing societies sensitizes health planners to the growing reality of aging in their societies and the need for expanded physical and psychiatric health care services.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)71-87
    Number of pages17
    JournalJournal of Aging and Health
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - Feb 2004


    • Developing countries
    • Functional disability
    • Jirels of Eastern Nepal
    • Psychiatric disorder

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Health(social science)
    • Sociology and Political Science
    • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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