This study was concerned with the problem of depression among elderly patients following surgery. The purpose of the study was to find out if older men following transurethral prostatectomy experienced a higher level of depression than normal elderly people in the general population. An attempt was made in the study to suggest factors in the patients' illness or environment which may have influenced the amount of depression they experienced.

Thirty patients, sixty-five years or older, were included in the study sample. Depression was measured by a self-rating depression scale (Zung) three weeks following their operations. Other facts about the patients were gathered by an interview at the time the test was given.

The central hypothesis of the study was that elderly men after transurethral prostatectomy would have a higher level of depression than normal older adults. The data supported this hypothesis in that 80 percent of the study sample had scores that were above the standard mean for normal aged adults.

Another hypothesis, relating to the effect of complications on the level of depression, was supported by the study findings. It was shown that an increase in total number of complications was accompanied by an increase in the level of depression. A regression analysis of these factors indicated a positive correlation. The correlation coefficient was .53.

Other factors in the environment of the study sample could not be related to the level of depression experienced by the group. Hypotheses suggesting a relationship between marital status or postoperative diagnosis and level of depression were not supported by statistically significant data.

It was concluded from this study that depression in older males following surgery upon the genitourinary system as represented by this select sample, was a significantly frequent occurrence. Although evidence was lacking to suggest that surgery was the primary cause of their depression, the high percentage of patients who experienced depression after their operation was significant.

LLU Discipline





Graduate School

First Advisor

L. Lucile Lewis

Second Advisor

Esther E. Sellers

Third Advisor

Henry L. Hadley

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Prostatectomy; Depression



Page Count

vi; 48

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives