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J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 1999 Nov;54(6):P380-6.

Performance-based and self-reported physical functioning in low-functioning older persons: congruence of change and the impact of depressive symptoms.

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  • 1Department of Medical Sociology, Maastricht University, The Netherlands.


This prospective cohort study examines the impact of depressive symptoms on changes in self-reported physical functioning in 574 low-functioning older persons. The data were collected in two waves in 1993 and 1995. Initial levels of depressive symptoms were not predictive for subsequent change in self-reported physical functioning. Changes in self-reported physical functioning were only moderately associated with changes in performance-based physical functioning. The strongest congruence of measured change between self-reported and performance-based physical functioning was found in older persons with increased depressive symptoms. The results suggest that preventing an increase in depressive symptoms may help prevent further deterioration in physical functioning in poorly functioning older persons.

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