Chronic Conditions in Elders in Assisted Living Facilities: Associations with Daily Functioning, Self-Assessed Health, and Depressive Symptoms
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Archives of Psychiatric Nursing
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The increasing life expectancy of older adults has prompted an increase in chronic conditions that may interfere with their daily living and impact physical and mental health.
This study examined associations between commonly reported chronic conditions, daily functioning, self-assessed health, and depressive symptoms of elders.
A secondary analysis of existing data from 314 elderly residents of 29 facilities was conducted.
The most frequently reported conditions were arthritis (64%), hypertension (47%), and heart problems (35%). Elders who reported having all three of these most frequently reported conditions differed significantly from those who reported none or one of the three conditions (p < .001) on their perception of interference with daily functioning and self-assessed health. Although differences on depressive symptoms were found between groups defined by number and combinations of conditions, specific trends in the data were not detected. Elder's rating of interference of their chronic conditions on daily functioning was moderately associated with their self-assessed health (r = − .50, p < .001) and depressive symptoms (r = .41, p < .001).
While chronic conditions may be unavoidable, assessing their comorbidity in elders is important for developing interventions to preserve their daily functioning and promote their optimal health.