Author(s): Lagan L, Reger SL
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: The authors examined whether selected demographic and psychological factors would predict physical health dimensions in a sample of 53 cognitively high-functioning and ethnically diverse women (age 65-105). METHOD: Predictors encompassed posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptomatology and perceived stress (of a nontraumatic nature and beyond health status) in relation to all dimensions of physical health of the Medical Outcome Study 36-item Short Form Health Survey (MOS SF-36); (Ware, J.E., & Sherbourne, C.D., 1992). The MOS 36-item short-form health survey (SF-36): I. Conceptual framework and item selection. Medical Care, 30(6), 473-483). Age and income, well-known correlates of health in the target population, were included as potential predictors. The authors first tested the relationship between potential predictors and health dimensions via a canonical correlation analysis, and then employed full multiple regression analyses to simultaneously test the predictors in each health dimension model. RESULTS: Perceived stress was a significant predictor of lower levels of general health (GH), but not of role limitations or physical functioning (PF). Conversely, PTSD symptomatology predicted more limitations in role fulfillment (and, to a lesser extent, impaired PF), but not lower levels of GH. As expected, age and income were predictive of some physical health dimensions. The hypothesized predictors failed to account for a significant portion of variance in pain scores. CONCLUSION: PTSD symptomatology and perceived stress might influence older women's physical health dimensions differentially; additional research on larger samples is needed to corroborate these findings.
This article was published in Aging Ment Health
and referenced in Clinics in Mother and Child Health