Depression Moderates the Frailty-Subjective Health Link among Chinese Near Centenarians and Centenarians.

American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry

PubMedID: 27423304

Lau BH, Kwan JS, Cheung KS, Martin P. Depression Moderates the Frailty-Subjective Health Link among Chinese Near Centenarians and Centenarians. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2016;24(9):753-61.
OBJECTIVE
Very old adults may be physically frail, but they do not necessarily experience poor subjective health. The authors hypothesized that the relationship between frailty and subjective health is moderated by depression for very old people.

METHODS
In a cross-sectional study, a survey administered was by a face-to-face interview to 129 community-dwelling older adults aged 95-108. Measurements included the five-item FRAIL scale, the Geriatric Depression Scale Short-Form (GDS), and a subjective health rating. Hierarchical multiple regressions were conducted to test the moderation effects, adjusting for age, gender, living arrangement, perceived socioeconomic status, and cognition.

RESULTS
The interaction effect between frailty and depression was significant. Inspection of the simple slopes revealed that those who were more depressed had a more negative frailty-subjective health relationship. There was no significant moderation effect for a withdrawal-apathy-vigor dimension of the GDS.

CONCLUSION
Our findings suggest a protective psychological mechanism may enable very old adults to maintain an optimistic view of their health despite their increasing physical and functional limitations.