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Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2010 Jul;18(7):615-23. doi: 10.1097/JGP.0b013e3181ca7ef2.

Prevalence and correlates of poor self-rated health in the United States: the national elder mistreatment study.

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1
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Medical University of South Carolina, SC, USA. amstadt@musc.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

Despite its subjective nature, self-report of health status is strongly correlated with long-term physical morbidity and mortality. Among the most reliable predictors of self-reported poor health is older age. In younger adult populations, the second reliable predictor of reported poor health is the experience of domestic and other interpersonal violence. However, very little research exits on the connection between elder mistreatment and self-reports of poor health. The aim of this study was to examine the level of, and correlates for, poor self-rated health in a community sample of older adults with particular emphasis on elder mistreatment history, demographics, and social dependency variables.

DESIGN:

Random digit dialing telephone survey methodology.

SETTING:

A national representative phone survey of noninstitutionalized U.S. household population.

PARTICIPANTS:

Five thousand seven hundred seventy-seven U.S. adults, aged 60 years and older.

MEASUREMENTS:

Individuals participated in a structured interview assessing elder mistreatment history, demographics, and social dependency variables.

RESULTS:

Poor self-rated health was endorsed by 22.3% of the sample. Final multivariable logistic regression models showed that poor self-rated health was associated with unemployment, marital status, low income, low social support, use of social services, needing help in activities of daily living, and being bothered by emotional problems. Secondary analyses revealed a mediational role of emotional symptoms in the association between physical maltreatment and poor health.

CONCLUSIONS:

Results suggest that poor health is common among older adults. This study also identified correlates of poor health that may be useful in identification of those in need of intervention.

PMID:
20220579
PMCID:
PMC2893408
DOI:
10.1097/JGP.0b013e3181ca7ef2
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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