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Predictors of suicidal ideation in Korean American older adults: analysis of the Memory and Aging Study of Koreans (MASK)

TitlePredictors of suicidal ideation in Korean American older adults: analysis of the Memory and Aging Study of Koreans (MASK)
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsNa, PJ, Kim, KB, Lee-Tauler, SY, Han, HR, Kim, MT, Lee, HB
JournalInt J Geriatr Psychiatry
Date PublishedOct 25
ISBN Number0885-6230
Accession Number27779333
KeywordsAsian American, Phq-9, self-rated mental health, suicidal ideation, suicide in older adults
Abstract

OBJECTIVE: Our aim is to investigate the prevalence and predictors of suicidal ideation among Korean American older adults and assess the self-rated mental health of Korean American older adults with suicidal ideation with or without depressive syndrome. METHODS: The Memory and Aging Study of Koreans is a cross-sectional, epidemiologic study of a community-representative sample of Korean American older adults (N = 1116) residing in the Baltimore-Washington area. Participants were interviewed using the Korean version of the Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9K). In addition, demographic information, self-rated mental health, and self-rated physical health status were obtained. RESULTS: In this study, 14.7% of Korean American older adults reported suicidal ideation. Predictors of suicidal ideation included living alone, major or minor depressive syndrome (diagnosed by the PHQ-9K), shorter duration of residency in the USA, and poorer self-rated mental health status. Of those who reported suicidal ideation, 64% did not have minor or major depressive syndrome. However, their self-rated mental health was as poor as that of those with major or minor depressive syndrome but without suicidal ideation. CONCLUSION: Suicidal ideation without depressive syndromes was common among Korean American older adults. For this group of elders with poor self-rated mental health, future studies should look to improving early detection of suicide risks and developing feasible suicide prevention interventions. Copyright (c) 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.