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Medical and social factors associated with psychological distress in a sample of community aged.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Canadian journal of psychiatry. Revue canadienne de psychiatrie
Publication Date
Volume
26
Issue
4
Pages
244–250
Identifiers
PMID: 7296437
Source
Medline

Abstract

Two hundred persons over 80 in two urban communities were interviewed. Of those interviewed, 21% evidenced psychological impairment as defined by the presence of at least one of the following self-report symptoms: 1) depression; 2) periods of inability to function; 3) suicidal ideation; 4) alcohol problems and 5) use of psychotropic medication. A profile of the psychologically impaired group compared to the psychologically healthy showed that accidents (mostly falls), eye problems and few social contacts were significantly associated with impairment. Approximately 75% had some restrictions on activity due to physical health problems. Social isolation was marked: 54% either had no children or saw them less than once a month; 38% visited with close friends or relatives less than once a month; 19% were rated as having very little or no social support; and 23% socialized beyond the household less than once a week. Social interaction was the strongest predictor of psychological wellbeing (Affect Balance Scale) in a multiple regression analysis that included physical health and socioeconomic variables. Questions about service needs and utilization indicated unmet needs in the areas of transportation, house maintenance, medical services, and a regular visiting service.

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