Prevalence and correlates of depressive symptoms in older Taiwanese immigrants in Canada

Daniel W.L. Lai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Background: There is a lack of research regarding depression in older Taiwanese immigrants in North American countries. This study in Canada therefore examined the prevalence of depressive symptoms among older immigrants from Taiwan, and psychosocial factors as predictors of depressive symptoms reported by older Taiwanese immigrants.

Methods: Ninety-eight migrants (aged more than or equal to 55 years) from Taiwan to Canada, who were part of a multi-site study of health and well-being in a total of 2,272 older ethnic Chinese individuals in community dwellings, completed a face-to-face interview and answered questions in an orally administrated questionnaire. Depressive symptoms were measured by a Chinese version of the Geriatric Depression Scale.

Results: Of the 98 migrants from Taiwan, 21.5% reported at least a mild level of depression. Predictive factors for depressive symptoms were a negative attitude towards aging, poor general physical health, single marital status, barriers in terms of gaining access to health care services, poor financial status, lower level of identification with Chinese health beliefs, and low income.

Conclusion: The prevalence of depressive symptoms in older Taiwanese immigrants in Canada was higher than that reported by older adults in the general Canadian population. Thus, implications for the delivery of health care services, and possible strategies to enhance the mental well-being of older Taiwanese immigrants, are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)118-125
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Chinese Medical Association
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2005

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Medicine(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Canadian immigration
  • Depression
  • Elderly
  • Geriatric psychiatry


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