Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Beverly Johnson


Depression; Aged


Depression is the primary mental health disorder in the elderly (people 65 years old and older). As the elderly are the fastest growing segment of the population in the United States, an increasing number of elders will be affected by this illness. The purpose of this study was to compare depression in the elderly between those who stay in the Midwest (Minnesota or North Dakota) year-round and those who travel south for all or part of the winter. A four-page self-administered questionnaire was distributed to 227 people thought to be at least 65 years old. The questionnaire consisted of background questions and the Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS). There was no significance found in depression scores between the two groups. These results may be due to the limiting factors of this study: a small sample size, the return of incomplete questionnaires, and an overall low depression rate in this sample.