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Ahmed Shihab*, Hanan Sabah and Hala Natiq


Background: The world’s population is ageing rapidly. Between 2015 and 2050, the proportion of the world's older adults is estimated to double from 12% to 22%. Older people face multiple physical, psychological and social challenges and about 15% of elderly people suffer from mental disorders, the most common are dementia, depression, anxiety disorder, drug abuse problems, and suicide. Aims of study: To highlight on geriatric mental health problems and help policy makers in the planning of mental health programs, proper allocation of financial and human resources to control of these increasingly prevalent of mental health problem in our country. Methodology: Cross-sectional study conducted and involved 331 elderly people who attended to 10 randomly selected (PHCs) of 10 health districts in both Baghdad health directorates (Al Karkh and Al Rusafa). Kessler Psychological Distress Scale was used, with a known validity and reliability, included information for the socio-demographical data, elderly mental health associated factors and screening for (CMDs) in elderly. Data was collected through self-assessment questionnaire. Results: The prevalence of the mental disorders (MDs) in study sample was 23%, represented as (depression 13.3%, anxiety18.6%, dementia 8.8%, substance abuse 1.5%, suicide thoughts 4.8%, and suicide attempts 1.8%). By Chi square test, the age, education level, current marital status, current occupation, smoking history, living depends on others, visual and auditory impairment, social isolation and loneliness, economic state deterioration, neglect and mishandling, cardiovascular diseases, respiratory diseases, DM disease and chronic joint pain was statistically significant associated factors with elderly mental disorders. By logistic regression analysis, currently unmarried (single, widowed, and divorced), not enough income, neglect and mishandling, smoking history, respiratory diseases, and chronic joint pain are determinants of elderly mental disorders. Conclusions: Mental disorders are common among elderly people and enhanced elderly mental health care services should be provided.

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