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Min-Hyeok Jeong 1 Article
The Trajectory of Depressive Symptoms Across Years of Community Care Utilization Among Older Adults: A 14-Year Follow-up Study Using the ‘Korean Welfare Panel Survey’
Il-Ho Kim, Cheong-Seok Kim, Min-Hyeok Jeong
J Prev Med Public Health. 2023;56(6):495-503.   Published online October 6, 2023
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3961/jpmph.23.022
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AbstractAbstract AbstractSummary PDF
Objectives
While older adults using community care services are known to be vulnerable for depression, community care utilization (CCU) may help to improve the mental health of these elderly. To date, however, it is much less clear how CCU affects depressive symptoms in the elderly population. This study focuses on the trajectory of depressive symptoms across years of CCU among older adults in Korea.
Methods
Using the 2006-2019 Korean Welfare Panel Survey, this study is focused on elderly born in 1940 or earlier and selected 3281 persons for baseline interviews in 2006. This consisted of 35 800 person-year observations during a period of 14 years. Panel data analysis were employed to construct years of CCU.
Results
After controlling for covariates, linear term of years using community care was negatively associated with depressive symptoms, but a quadratic term was positively significant. The trajectory of depressive symptoms across the years of CCU follows a U-shaped curve. Older adults in the first year of using community care reported the highest level of depressive symptoms. However, a significant and steady decrease in depressive symptoms was observed during the following 9 years of CCU, which then gradually increased. The level of depressive symptoms at the 14th year of using community care remains significantly lower than the level at the outset of its utilization.
Conclusions
This finding implies that CCU could be beneficial for improving mental health among older adults.
Summary
Korean summary
한국복지패널조사(2006-2019년)를 활용하여 지역사회 돌봄서비스의 이용기간(14년 간)에 따른 우울변화궤적을 분석하였다. 분석결과, 지난 14년간 돌봄서비스 이용기간에 따른 우울증상의 궤적은 U자형을 따랐다. 즉 노인은 돌봄서비스를 이용한 첫 해에 가장 높은 우울 수준을 보고하였으며, 이후 9년간 지속적으로 감소하였다가, 점차 증가하는 추세를 보였다.
Key Message
Using the 2006-2019 Korean Welfare Panel Survey, this study focuses on the trajectory of depressive symptoms across years of CCU among older adults in Korea. The trajectory of depressive symptoms across the years of CCU follows a U-shaped curve. Older adults in the first year of using community care reported the highest level of depressive symptoms. However, a significant and steady decrease in depressive symptoms was observed during the following 9 years of CCU, which then gradually increased.

JPMPH : Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health