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J Gerontol. 1990 Sep;45(5):M163-8.

The effects of persistent depressive symptoms on hip fracture recovery.

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  • 1Medical College of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.


One hundred ninety-six older. White females were followed for 12 months after hip fracture. We examined the effects of persistently elevated depressive symptoms, measured by the Center for Epidemiological Studies Depression (CES-D) scale during a postsurgery interview and 2, 6, and 12 months later, on ambulation, overall physical function, and return to prefracture physical function 12 months after fracture. Age, prefracture physical function, and cognitive status were predictors of recovery. Controlling for these factors, persons consistently reporting few depressive symptoms were three times more likely than those with persistently elevated CES-D scores to achieve independence in walking, nine times more likely to return to prefracture levels in at least five of seven physical function measures, and nine times more likely to be in the highest quartile of overall physical function. These findings emphasize the importance of persistently elevated depressive symptoms for recovery. Routine screening, evaluation, and treatment of depression or depressed mood may be beneficial to the recovering hip fracture patient.

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