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The influence of limitation in activity of daily living and physical health on elderly suicidal ideation: results from survey of Kangbuk district, Korea
  1. J Cho,
  2. J Hong,
  3. D Lim*
  1. Correspondence Center for Injury Prevention and Community Safety Promotion, Ajou University School of Medicine, #5 Wonchon-dong, Yeongtong-gu, Suwon city 443–721, South Korea


Background Studying suicidal ideation (SI) has methodological advantages over examining completed suicide and may provide useful insight into suicidal behaviour. SI is not only strongly associated with mental disorder (particularly depression), but also disability. The objective of this study is to explore the relationship between elderly SI and disability in greater details.

Methods The data were collected from 13 Jul to 19 Jul 2009 through the survey to 513 elderly persons over 65 years old who have lived in Kangbuk district, Korea. Nineteen questions were asked to assess SI, a set of questions identified activity of daily living (ADL) limitation, and usual physical health. A set of questions identified ADL limitation was scored. The more limit a daily living, the higher ADL limitation score.

Results There were statistically significant differences in the ADL limitation score and usual physical health according to SI. In suicidal group, ADL limitation score average, 28.06 was higher than in none suicidal group by 3.96 (t=–4.49, p<0.0001). ADL limitation core increased with the age, and female's ADL limitation score, 25.71 was higher than male by 4.79 (t=10.02, p≤0.0001).

Conclusions Disability is an important independent correlate of suicidal ideation, particularly in older people. Preventive programs need to be considered for disabled older people.

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