Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS One. 2016 Nov 30;11(11):e0166238. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0166238. eCollection 2016.

Relationship between Physical Disability and Depression by Gender: A Panel Regression Model.

Author information

Department of Healthcare Management, Eulji University, Seongnam, Korea.
Global Health Unit, Department of Health Sciences, University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.
Department of Humanities and Social Medicine, College of Medicine and Catholic Institute for Healthcare Management, the Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, Korea.
National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, Bethesda, MD, United States of America.
Department of Preventive Medicine, Kyung Hee University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Social Welfare, Seoul Women's University, Seoul, Korea.



Depression in persons with physical disabilities may be more common than in the general population. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between physical disability and depression by gender among adults, using a large, nationally representative sample.


This study used data from the Korean Longitudinal Study of Aging, Wave one through four, and ran a series of random effect panel regression models to test the relationship between physical disability status and depression by gender. We tested the moderating effect of gender on the relationship between disability status and depression level by examining the significance of the cross-product term between disability status and gender.


After controlling for self-rated health, marital status, employment status, education, and age, subjects who were female or diagnosed as having any disability presented higher levels of depression scores. Further, the difference in terms of their depression level measured by Center for Epidemiologic Studies Short Depression Scale (CES-D 10) scores between those who were diagnosed as having any disability and those who were not was greater for females than for their male counterparts.


This study reaffirmed that disability is the risk factor of depression, using longitudinal data. In addition, female gender is the effect modifier rather than the risk factor. The effect of gender in the non-disability group, mostly composed of older persons, is limited. On the contrary, the female disability group showed more depressive symptoms than the male disability group. The gender difference in the disability group and the role of culture on these differences need further research.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center