257538 Impact of psychosocial factors on balance among Hispanic seniors

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Ka-Chun Siu, PhD , Physical Therapy Education, School of Allied Health Professions, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE
Aura Whitney-Jackson, MSW , Center for Reducing Health Disparities, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE
Shireen Rajaram, PhD , Department of Health Promotion and Social and Behavioral Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Public Health, Omaha, NE
Carolina Padilla , Intercultural Senior Center, Intercultural Senior Center, Omaha, NE
Background/Objective: Falling is associated with a decline in the ability to respond to balance threats. Although studies have shown that the ability to control balance declines with age, the majority of participants in fall-related studies are Caucasians. There is a dearth of information on the relationship between psychosocial status and functional differences in Hispanic seniors. Methods: We recruited 48 Hispanic adults, with an average age of 67 years, from a local intercultural senior center in a Midwestern metropolitan city. Participants completed a set physical assessment tests [Single limb stance (SLS), Berg Balance Scale (BBS), Dynamic Gait Index (DGI), and the Timed Up and Go (TUG) Test] to determine the functional status and two questionnaires to asses psychosocial status -- Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CESD) for evaluating depression and Norbeck Social Support Questionnaire (NSSQ) for social support status. Spearman correlations were used to examine all relationships. Results: Poor balance was significantly related to a higher level of depression in CESD [SLS (R=-0.43), DGI (R=-0.33), BBS (R=-0.34), TUG (R=0.30)] (p<0.05) and a lower level of social support in NSSQ [BBS (R=0.36, p<0.05)]. More importantly, the association between CESD and poor balance was more significant after the adjustment of age (p<0.01). Conclusion: These results confirm that depression and poor social support among Hispanic seniors could impact physical performance, which may lead to falls and injuries. To reduce the public health burden associated with fall injuries among Hispanic population, it is crucial to understand the relationship between psychosocial status and physical functioning.

Learning Areas:
Basic medical science applied in public health
Clinical medicine applied in public health
Diversity and culture
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related nursing
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Identify the relationship between psychosocial status and physical function in Hispanic seniors

Keywords: Minority Health, Aging

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the former Director of the Center for Reducing Health Disparities and a faculty in the Department of Health Promotion and Social and Behavioral Health in the College of Public Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. My teaching interests include Health Disparities and Women and Health.
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.