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Physical, cognitive, behavior, and negative emotion in older adults living in China: a national population-based survey

Authors Zhang Y, Tan X, Si G, Huang Y

Received 28 May 2019

Accepted for publication 16 July 2019

Published 30 July 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 593—601


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Mei-chun Cheung

Yuting Zhang, Xiaodong Tan, Guanglin Si, Yuwei Huang

Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, School of Health Sciences, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430071, People’s Republic of China

Background: Previous studies have concentrated on predictors of exceptional longevity, however, relevant studies have rarely extended to other fields of functioning. To date, little is known about what contributes to the experience of negative emotion in a very old population.
Objective: We aimed to provide a comprehensive key domain of functioning, including physical, cognitive, behavior, and negative emotion in older adults (OAs), followed by determination of predictors of negative emotion.
Methods: Data were collected from a nationally representative sample of 2570 Chinese OAs (aged 60 and above) from the 2014 wave of the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Survey. Physical function was assessed using activities of daily living (ADL) and instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) measures. Cognitive function was assessed by the Modified Mini-Mental State Examination (mMMSE). Participants’ behavior included smoking, drinking, exercise, physical labor, and social activities. Negative emotion was assessed using four items on affective experiences to create an index of emotional well-being. The associations between various covariates and multiple health outcomes were examined using Pearson’s correlation. Multiple linear regressions were established to verify significant variables associated with respondents’ negative emotion.
Results: The mean age was 80.20 years (SD=8.60). The mean ADL total score of the sample was 17.78 (SD=0.89), mean IADL total score was 21.93 (SD=3.69), the mean mMMSE total score was 21.63 (SD=2.23), the mean negative emotion total score was 8.89 (SD=2.64). Multiple linear regression analyses revealed that negative emotion was associated with self-perceived low economic status, poor self-rated health condition, poor sleep quality, low IADL function, less regular exercising, living in rural, and being female.
Conclusion: Limited physical functioning and social resources in rural residence may restrict the outpouring of emotion in OAs. Nevertheless, further intensive studies are warranted to provide guidance for the development of better living environment for this elderly population.

Keywords: older adults, physical function, cognition, behavior, negative emotion

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