Dependency in old age: a comparison of mental and physical factors

Kay, D. W. K. and Holding, T. A. and Jones, B. and Littler, S. (1991) Dependency in old age: a comparison of mental and physical factors. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 6 (12). pp. 833-844. ISSN 0885-6230


The level of dependency of 412 patients aged 70 years or over living in hospitals, nursing homes or sheltered accommodation (n=312) or receiving care from the domiciliary nursing services (n=100) and of 100 elderly people living in the community in Hobart, Tasmania, was assessed using a version of the CARE schedule. The respective roles of mental and physical factors were examined using other CARE items and after administering the Geriatric Mental Status schedule and the Wechsler Memory Scale. Rank-order correlations and log-linear analyses indicated that physical impairment affecting mobility and upper limb function and cognitive impairment due to dementia were about equally strongly related to the level of dependency; at least moderate degrees of both mental and physical impairment were present in 20% of patients. Vision was often hard to assess in demented patients but was associated with dependency in the non-demented. Dependency was significantly related to age and self-rated health but not to deafness and was related to mood disorder only in non-demented patients nursed at home. Apart from this, these patients showed similar relations between dependency and physical and mental impairments to those living in institutions. Central nervous system disease was associated with greater dependency than other medical diagnoses. Preventative programs, and effective management and treatment of the individual, will depend on careful diagnosis of the causes of dependency.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 33687
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Access to published version is in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Sciences - Department of Psychology
Date Deposited: 06 Mar 2018 01:15
Last Modified: 29 Mar 2018 02:15
Uncontrolled Keywords: aged; dependency; dementia; depression; disability institutions; domiciliary nursing
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111702 Aged Health Care
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1002/gps.930061203

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only