Back to Journals » Clinical Interventions in Aging » Volume 9

Functional capacity and dependency in transfer and dressing are associated with depressive symptoms in older people

Authors Boström G, Conradsson M, Rosendahl E, Nordström P, Gustafson Y, Littbrand H

Received 14 November 2013

Accepted for publication 11 December 2013

Published 4 February 2014 Volume 2014:9 Pages 249—257


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Gustaf Boström,1 Mia Conradsson,1 Erik Rosendahl,1,2 Peter Nordström,1 Yngve Gustafson,1 Håkan Littbrand1,2

1Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Geriatric Medicine, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden; 2Department of Community Medicine and Rehabilitation, Physiotherapy, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden

Background: This study examined associations between depressive symptoms and functional capacity, overall dependency in personal activities of daily living (ADLs), and dependency in individual ADL tasks, respectively, in people with a high mean age, large range of functional capacity, and wide spectrum of dependency in ADLs.
Methods: Cross-sectional data from three studies were used. A total of 392 individuals living in community and residential care facilities were included. Mean age was 86.2 years, 72% were women, 75% were dependent in ADLs, 42% had depression, and 39% had dementia. Depressive symptoms were assessed with the 15-item Geriatric Depression Scale (GDS-15), functional capacity with the Berg Balance Scale (BBS), and ADLs with the Barthel ADL Index. Multiple linear regression analyses with comprehensive adjustments were performed between GDS-15 and BBS, GDS-15 and Barthel ADL Index, and GDS-15 and each individual ADL task, separately.
Results: GDS-15 score was associated with BBS score (unstandardized b =-0.03, P=0.008), but not with Barthel ADL Index score (unstandardized b =-0.07, P=0.068). No significant interaction effects of sex, dementia, or living conditions were found in these associations. Among individual ADL tasks, dependency in transfer (unstandardized b =-1.03, P=0.007) and dressing (unstandardized b =-0.70, P=0.035) were associated with depressive symptoms.
Conclusion: Functional capacity seems to be independently associated with depressive symptoms in older people living in community and residential care facilities, whereas overall ADL performance may not be associated. Dependency in the individual ADL tasks of transfer and dressing appear to be independently associated with depressive symptoms and may be an important focus of future interdisciplinary multifactorial intervention studies.

Keywords: aged 80 and over, residential facilities, independent living, depression, activities of daily living

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.

Download Article [PDF]  View Full Text [HTML][Machine readable]