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Aging Ment Health. 2009 Mar;13(2):202-12. doi: 10.1080/13607860802342201.

Physical function trajectories, depressive symptoms, and life satisfaction among the elderly in Taiwan.

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Department of Health Care Administration, Asia University, Taiwan, Republic of China.



The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of physical function trajectories on emotional health and subjective well-being among the elderly in Taiwan.


Data was from a 6-year nation-representative panel for analysis. Physical function trajectories were categorized as independent, declined, disabled, improved, fluctuating, died well and died disabled. The effects of physical function trajectories on depressive symptoms and life satisfaction were examined by controlling for demographics, chronic disease, cognitive function and social support. Mixed linear modeling was used for analysis.


Among the physical trajectory groups, differences were shown between depressive symptoms and life satisfaction. An increase in the difficulty of physical function also increases depressive symptoms and reduces life satisfaction. The died-well group showed a difference from the independent group in depressive symptoms and life satisfaction, but these who died without disability did have better emotional health and subjective well-being than the disabled survivors.


Coping strategies and supporting resources to help the disabled elderly to improve their successful aging is suggested in future research and health policies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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