, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 249-263

Community-Based Prevention for Suicide in Elderly by Depression Screening and Follow-Up

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Abstract

The aim of the study was to evaluate the outcome of a community-based prevention program against suicides among the elderly aged 65 and over in the Japanese rural town of Joboji (population 7,010), using a quasi-experimental design with two neighboring control areas. During the 10-year implementation of the program based on strategies including screening for depression, follow up with mental health care or psychiatric treatment and health education on depression, the relative risks estimated by the age-adjusted odds ratios for both males and females were reduced to almost one quarter more than a regional historical trend, with a better response to education for females than for males. A community-based management for later-life depression with mental health care supported by the psychiatric treatment can be effective against suicide among the elderly for both males and females.