177211 Positive and Negative Affect, Symptom Distress, Depression, Functional Status, and Health-Related Quality of Life among Older Adults with Chronic Illnesses

Monday, October 27, 2008

Kenneth Gruber, PhD , School of Human Environmental Sciences, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Greensboro, NC
Jie Hu, PhD, RN , School of Nursing, The University of North Carolina @ Greensboro, Greensboro, NC
Older individuals who suffer from physical illnesses and chronic health problems are at risk for developing clinical depression. Because depression can lead to mortality, it is important for health professionals to recognize changes in motivational and behavioral factors that may suggest the onset of depression or exacerbation of depressive symptomatology. Assessment of positive and negative affect may provide a valuable tool for identifying the impact that health indicators may have for affecting risk of depression and anxiety related behaviors among older adults. . In a study of determinants of health functioning (symptom distress, depression, functional status, and health-related quality life) among a community-sample of 153 older adults with chronic illnesses, high positive affect and low negative affect were found to be associated with lower levels of symptom distress, fewer depressive symptoms, higher daily activity scores, and higher perceived health-related quality of life. Some differences in the relationship between affect scores and race, age, and education level were found. African Americans were more likely to report higher positive affect than Caucasians. Participants with higher education levels were significantly more likely than those with less education to have high positive affect scores. Older respondents reported significantly lower negative affect. Gender was unrelated to differences in reported affect. The results of this study suggest that both positive and negative affect may be useful as indicators of life functioning among the elderly. Affect represents a potentially valuable means for understanding how individual's view their health and symptoms of disease and illness.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the relationship among age, race and education to reported levels of positive and negative affect among older adults with chronic illnesses. 2. Describe the differences of positive and negative affect levels in symptom distress, depression, functioning and health-related quality life among older adults with chronic illness. 3. Discuss the combination of positive and negative affect related to differences in symptom distress, depression, functioning and health-related quality of life among persons with chronic illnesses.

Keywords: Chronic Illness, Quality of Life

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I contributed to the dissemination of the study.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.