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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Psychological resilience and depressive symptoms in older adults diagnosed with post-polio syndrome

Diana Pierini, Alexa K Stuifbergen
Rehabilitation Nursing: the Official Journal of the Association of Rehabilitation Nurses 2010, 35 (4): 167-75
20681392
Depression is a serious comorbidity in people with disabilities; however, few studies have focused on depressive symptoms in older adults with post-polio syndrome (PPS). This study used a resilience conceptual framework that focused on patient psychosocial strengths to investigate the relationship between psychological resilience factors (e.g., acceptance, self-efficacy, personal resources, interpersonal relationships, self-rated health, spiritual growth, stress management) and depressive symptoms in a large sample (N = 630) of people older than 65 years who were diagnosed with PPS. Forty percent of the sample scored > or = 10 on the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Short Depression Scale (CES-D10), which is a higher percentage than what has been previously cited in other studies; however, 53% of the sample had good or excellent self-rated health, suggesting psychological resilience. Depression scores were regressed on seven selected resilience factors after controlling for functional limitations. Four of the seven variables accounted for 30% of the variance in depressive symptoms, with spiritual growth representing the main predictor (beta = -.26). The implications for rehabilitation nurses in developing a patient-strengths perspective in the assessment and counseling of older adults with PPS are discussed.

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